Summer “term” and taking stock

I find the time between the last paper marked and the new term induction week to be ‘me-time’ or ‘PhD time’.  As a working student doing a full time PhD I’ve had a lot of different priorities to juggle through the year and now that my teaching priorities are finished for the term I’m left with my research.

*big massive smile*

Just me…and my research!  Oh yes – until I turn to the nitty gritty details and I’m faced with a rather disorganised treasure trove of PhDness.  With my other responsibilities aside I’ve gotten a clearer view of my research, where I’m up to and areas that (definitely) need more work.  Basically taking stock and sorting through the pile of info.  It’s very different from last year, where a lot of my focus was on generating data.  Now, heading into my third year, it’s much more about the thesis.

I had an excellent supervisory session where we discussed the reconceptualisation of my research question and the direction my thesis was taking.  It was interesting since the discussion was, by in large, in reference to where I’ve been.  My own research process hasn’t been the most focused of paths.  I’ve went off and explored various areas related to my research (mainly theoretical paths).  It was only after I’ve done my exploring that I was able to choose the focus of my thesis.  I’ve read some PhD blogs on how researchers have come to a realisation of the aim of their thesis – like it came to them or emerged from a long process of reflection.  In my own experience, part of this realisation came from making a decisive decision about the aim of my thesis.  I’m beginning to see how I want to write the actual document and what it is, and what it is not.  Overall it was a good discussion which gave me the motivational boost to carry on and get going.

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