Back in the saddle – apparently

I type this with my new glasses on that make me want to vomit when I move my head too fast or look out the window to think, but apparently they help with reading. Funny how glasses are plural when there is only one. Anyway, off topic.

Since my last post I went a great session on methodology on 10 May. It was interesting but like a lot of these sessions, we start with positivism and end up talking about it for far too long for my interests. Given so few people use it in my faculty it seems weird how long we spend on in it. Anyway, the session was inspiring enough for me to start my methodology chapter based on the work I’d done for my proposal as well as some additional research. Another reason this session was good was because it was after hours so lots of part time people there so it felt like more people understood my pain. Being part time is stupid. I didn’t realise how stupid until my confirmation. Then a whole lot of stupid became apparent including being part time. Anyway, it was really nice to feel a different mood in the room. People in a boat of no time, no scholarship and no desk on site. It was nice. I hope there are more like it.

At my work someone is doing a science thesis and when I was talking about post-structuralism she was open enough to ask “what’s that?”. It wasn’t that she didn’t know the details of post-structuralism (hell – does anyone?) but she really didn’t know the term. This made me value the session on methodology even more, because I realised how much work the faculty does in helping us understand what a thesis is in relation to how it alters how you think. We learn about all theories, not just the one we want to use, and while this is painful and at a times arouses a murderous rage, I can really see now how important it is that I understand basic concepts to know why I am choosing the theory I am. It was cool to talk to someone completely fresh to the idea of post-structuralism. Made me really stop and think about how to make it seem like a good idea and a good basis for research.

These two events have helped me get back in the saddle. I have a new timetable on my wall (see below) and every day I can look to see how I’m doing. It’s keeping me on track so far (only two weeks in….) but more importantly I’m reading again, researching, and writing. I fell off, and have finally got back on. What’s most awesome is I’m reading theory and understanding how it applies to me. I no longer read for understanding, I read for usability and as a result, the stupid stuff makes sense. Thanks to Michael for putting me into this frame of mind with theory. I suppose it’s also worth mentioning my confirmation has come through. The reports from the assessors ended up being quite positive and supportive.

“There is little doubt in my mind that the candidate has recognised an important area for universities to be concerned about and one which has been generally overlooked by the research community.”

“Mel’s topic is important, timely and would contribute to filling clearly identified gaps in several literatures. ”

But they offered no specific direction for theory! Just that it was going to be tricky but they were confident I’ll work it out. Glad they’re confident!

Right, back in the saddle, means back to it I guess, but maybe I’ll bake some cookies first…..procrastination is still with me.



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