Day -29

Today was a family day. I had to take kid to specialist in the morning and like all good specialists, ours ran late. Never trust a specialist who runs on time. I knew this one would be good when I saw his face. That unquantifiable intuition is something we have over algorithms. The more automated life is, the more satisfied I feel in having gone down a very human path.

We took the rest of the day off school and got back in the late afternoon.

I have a plan for tomorrow and will not bother with any thesis work today. I will begin tomorrow’s work day by planning what I want to achieve ahead of my meeting next week. I will read through the comments and write a list of questions. I will need to get back into that mind space as I have had almost a month in the civilian world. I need to remember what the project is about and why I developed it in the first place.

I’ve actually forgotten a lot of what I’ve written but hopefully I’ll remember when I work on it tomorrow.

I’m going to work from home and reward myself with a bit of Netflix before picking up the kid from school. He’s really enjoying school and found his groove there. What a shame the holidays are so soon!

No mid life crisis today as I was just happy to have been out and about. It felt good to have three long and active days in a row without passing out. It’s given me a lot more confidence in being able to do “normal” stuff again.

So yay!

Once again I question why I am pursuing something that requires a lot of time in isolation with my own thoughts when I am most happy when I’m out and about interacting with people. But I am 90% done with this project. If dissertations were not uploaded for the world to access, I would definitely not be worrying about the end result and treat it like a really long assignment.

I’m going to go and read Ronan Farrow’s latest article about Harvey Weinstein now. I think only a journalist like him, a Hollywood insider, could take on such a project.

I don’t think I’ll ever blog under my real name. I’d have to edit it and one of the things I love about blogging is not having to edit. I’m old and from the pre-Wordpress days. I remember lynx and when Netscape came into being. No one used their real name. Facebook freaked me out. If Zuckerberg isn’t so worried about privacy, why don’t we know more about him? Is it because there’s just not much to know? He was raised in a middle-class family, maths science nerd, went to Harvard, developed FB which turned him into a billionaire, got married and had kids. His views on AI scare me and has made me believe that all kids need to study philosophy at school. I’m with Elon Musk on that one.

Advertisements

Day – 30 Reflections

I can’t drag out this project into the new year. I want it done by Christmas. I don’t mind editing typos and making small adjustments post Christmas, but I am that “ya know, it’s okay if you guys go ahead, take that extra walk up the Puy de Dome. I am perfectly fine down here. Send me a selfie! I’m heading down and outta town! I am ready for my next adventure!”

I can’t think about it until I do these rewrites. My supervisors have reassured me it’s not going to be that arduous a task. I am slowly immersing myself into it again. In the shower tonight I thought of ways I could incorporate one of the key theorists I have only mentioned in footnotes. I’ve done the academic thing and overcomplicated a taken for granted phenomenon, or at least that’s how it feels right now. Feels like I’m stating the obvious in too many words.

The thing is, everyone has told me it’s not a PhD. It’s a Masters, you just need to show that you can synthesise information and demonstrate you get the key theories. I don’t have enough words to work with. Arghh

Here’s what I’m going to do:

1) not think about it before bed – going to be hard if it drags into the holidays as night time is when I have time to self to think.

2) I will make the technical changes but run things through my supervisors before re-structuring.

3) remember that it is doable. I just have to force myself to sit there and write.

Which leads me to the question of why if I have discovered in middle age that I am more of an extrovert than introvert, am I still wanting to tell stories through writing when there are so many other ways and I am obviously more of a visual person. Am I just slack? Too lazy or afraid to step out of my comfort zone?

What I need is a holiday. I’m seriously considering booking myself a few days somewhere to write uninterrupted. I need to take this more seriously and it must be my priority after tomorrow until it’s complete.

I also need another blog to dump my other thoughts. This blog is solely a place to track my progress.

The plan for tomorrow – if I find the time.

1) read through feedback. It’s all in a binder now so I can easily flip through it. Make notes on the hard copy.

2) remember how good progress feels and picture end goal. Right now it’s about motivation.

3) do the easy parts first – eg typos, signposting diagrams etc this is the way into other work.

4) write down what I might want to restructure but don’t do it until I get the okay.

5) jot down the questions I have for my supervisors.

6) don’t overthink!!! Don’t focus on the two bad bricks.

None of the ideas I am playing with are alien to me. The theorists are. It’s not hard. It’s not Astro physics.

Okay now I’m all motivated but I need sleep.

5)

Resetting the countdown clock

But not today.

I am giving myself a few days off. There’s not much I can do without a hard copy.

I got a summary of the feedback. It’s not too shabby at all, but I do have to restructure a few sections. I can’t be bothered thinking about it today, but I will next week. Kid is at school for another two weeks and then hubby is on leave. I can get it done and submit before Christmas.

Hopefully they will mark it within months, and I will get to graduate before semester 1 ends. Done and dusted.

Bucket list. Tick.

Meanwhile, I have to tend to home duties.

Blerghhh.

Why can’t we live on muesli bars?

Preliminary feedback

It’s been 3-4 weeks since I submitted my penultimate draft. I’ve caught up with some friends, been more present for my family and extended family, started a few books and binged/skim watched a few Netflix shows: The Good Place (so clever and lol funny); Riverdale (see your 90s icons which is Beverly Hills 90210 meets Twin Peaks, for the post Gossip Girl generation); Suits (legal drama starring Prince Harry’s girlfriend and someone who is reminiscent of an old teacher as corporate lawyers you don’t really care about); and Dynasty (it doesn’t take itself seriously, and nor should you).

While it’s been great to take a break from working on the thesis, I feel a bit lost without something to work on. I do have ideas for the next thing, but am not in the headspace to think that far ahead.

I have had a few, oh gawd I need to move to a more dynamic part of time, but I’m not in my 20s and I don’t have a regular babysitter. It makes no difference where I live at the moment and I am not going to lose sleep over school zones for high school.

I am looking forward to meeting with my supervisors because then it’s the home stretch. Right now, I can’t see the wood from the trees. I’m guessing I will have a meeting the week after next to discuss final edits, and then it’s done!

Yawn.

I’ll restart the countdown clock when I get feedback.

Then it’s final draft, submit, a once over making sure I’ve no typos and have referenced everything. They say it’s better to over than under reference.

Yawn.

Day 0 Yes!!!!!!!!!!

Woohoo.

That’s it for now.

I have a couple of weeks to relax while awaiting feedback. It’s way too long and the last chapter isn’t as succinct as I would like it to be, but it is DONE! Yeah! I thoroughly recommend this countdown method. 

I’ve managed to achieve two goals doing it this way. I’m not going to reset the clock for the final submission until I meet with supervisors. 

I think I’m still 5-8 k over and that’s after putting so many words in the footnotes. But there is no way I will upgrade this project to a PhD as that’s another level and I want to move on.

I will work on my graphics and write the front section and the bridge. I can’t believe I spent two weeks writing my honours (supposedly f/t) project and three years (part time) on this one.  

Still got more to do but I am so happy to have completed this mostly accurately referenced and formatted near complete draft. 

Yahhh 

Day -14 (-2)

I’m trying to finish this last damn chapter within the next two days so I can get it to one of my supervisors before her leave. Arghhhhh

I am going mad.

It’s like I am staying the obvious and when I read some academic text I think why, why are you complicating a simple concept with so many unnecessary words? and also why can’t I make up some words? 

I read a chapter from Obama’s memoir, the one he wrote before he became President and thought, wow. The American people have gone from someone who writes literary texts to one who tweets muddled messages. 

Day -15

Okay so minor edits in one chapter and bigger ones in another.

Tired.

Tomorrow is the only day of the week I can work a whole day.

The weather was bad today. Climate change.

Yawn.

Revelation – I don’t want to play in a community music group. My hearing is so bad, just playing at home is fine. I can control the volume.

Yawn.

I hope it’s warmer tomorrow.

I can’t wait until I get a chance to read books that are unrelated to my research. 

Day -20 formatting 

Arghhh Word! Why is there no alternative?

I printed out the thesis draft and yeah that felt good, but the formatting!

1) footnote lines inconsistent

2)word just randomly added grey lines throughout my document 

3)content page looks bad. I should have done it manually

My drafts were fine but cut and pasting it all into one document means I’ve lost some of my formatting. I think some of the issues are linked to using both a mac and pc, and three different words. I’m going to have to use the newer PC version. 

Day -20 formatting 

I did too much housework this morning and didn’t get to work until 11. My brain wasn’t switched on.

I formatted my thesis. There are some issues with my heading fields but I’ll work on that later. I also created some smart art. Tomorrow I’m going to do some off line edits. 

Still on track – just.