Board V: Best. Day. Ever.

Yesterday was my fifth supervisory board.  I’ve become a lot more relaxed about them since the fourth one went so well, but nonetheless, this board totally exceeded my expectations.  A load of other good things happened yesterday too.

This time around, I submitted my chapter about only children’s feelings for the board members to read, as it followed directly on from the last paper they read.  I was really pleased that it came back with only minor changes to make - I don’t need to add huge amounts or completely overhaul it - although, having found that some of the edits I’ve had to make to my literature review aren’t as huge as I originally imagined, maybe I have a new definition of ‘minor changes’!  A particularly great (more major, but not requiring a huge amount of brainwork) suggestion was that I make a biographical dictionary of all the people in my study, so that I don’t have to keep reminding the reader who people I’ve previously mentioned are. It also means I get to feel all proper by having an appendix.

I got a lot of compliments on the interestingness of the material, and my writing style (apart from overly-long sentences, which I can see in my students’ work but not in my own!).  There was even talk of it making a good book, or me applying for New Generation Thinkers (having lived in Essex for 20 years, I’m not sure Radio 4 would want me sullying the airwaves…).  I would love to make my thesis into a book, though my current plan is not to (try to) go into academia immediately as doing so won’t bring about the changes I currently desperately need in my life.  I would want to write a book, and still be involved in things like the Social History Society, alongside a permanent, salaried job for a while, then see if I want to stay in the ‘real world’ or return to the ivory tower.

So yeah, it was a pretty amazing board.  Although I was already confident about getting this thesis done, and well, this has given me an extra boost.  A few other things happened yesterday that also gave me a spring in my step.  My article for The Psychologist came out, for one thing, so now I have something concrete to put on the impact form I have to do early next year.  I had my last seminar of the semester, and while there were only three students (end of term and essay deadlines lead to depleted classes), I still managed to fill a lot of the time well, improvised a bit, and they all contributed things I hadn’t thought of.  So now I can say that I’ve taught on my own for a semester, and marking is coming (I like marking.  Everyone thinks I’m weird).  I also got offered an interview for a placement that’s absolutely perfect for me and I really want (don’t want to say too much about that in case I jinx it), and then me and my fellow GTAs won the staff vs students quiz in the evening.  I’ve definitely ended the term on a high.


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About Alice Violett

Reader of books, player of board games, lover of cats, editor of web content, haver of PhD.

Colchester, UK