This time last week I was still a mess. Since then it’s been interesting times!
Turns out, it’s all about your perspective. When David sent me an email saying “well done” after my confirmation, because of my perspective, I thought he was being sarcastic. No, he was genuine. For him my confirmation had gone as expected and there was nothing untoward and indeed it was all quite normal. He is not alone. I’ve spoken to many people now and all of them say that confirmations do tend to be blood baths. Why? Well because that’s academics for you. They are passionate about their personal positions and telling a HDR student how wrong they are is a way to build the character of the student and maybe help them towards the very important personal perspective. To be honest that’s what I saw at APSA where academics had goes at others for what seemed to be sport rather than testing of ideas. So I shouldn’t have been surprised. It helped to have people tell me everyone goes through this, however, why do they have to?
This brings me to my next point. The confirmation unearthed my FoR codes. Until now I didn’t really care. I’m not an academic, not going to be one, so it hasn’t really been an issue, until now. Seeing others grapple to assess my ideas made me realise I’m playing outside the sand pit. It’s hard to assess my thesis because I’m not in the box. I belong to three FoR codes, not two. Who do you get to assess me then? One person from each of the three but then they can’t understand two thirds of the thesis because it’s not in their sand pit but someone else’s? See, I don’t think that will happen. I think they will understand because of what I write, I just need to be very clever about it. I need to write a thesis that three different discipline academics will recognise as part of their sand pit (not sure that analogy is working). I don’t want to conform. I want to fight the system, after all that’s my whole thesis. Why would I choose one FoR as the dominant code for me when I’m a little bit of three? To make my life easy? Ha! Why start now?
On a happy note, I’m going to APIRA because not only did our paper get accepted at HERDSA, we’re also at APIRA. Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.