For some people, getting a PhD is absolute hell. They get unlucky with their supervisors, they can’t find enough data, or have massive problems with the data they have, they have to take time off for unforeseen circumstances like illness, bereavement, or caring responsibilities, they have financial problems which cause stress and mean the PhD has to fit around full-time work, they suffer from mental illnesses as a result of the pressure and/or impostor syndrome. They keep going because in spite of everything, they love their subject and really want that PhD. They are the true heroes, the ones who can say they ‘survived’ the PhD, and there needs to be more support for them.
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.
Last Saturday, I was up ridiculously early to present and listen at the abovementioned symposium. It was a really interesting day and I learned a lot about a huge range of different subjects!
Well, I didn’t expect returning to my literature review to make changes, additions and corrections to be quite this hard. I actually think totally re-writing my section/chapter/whatever it’s going to be on perceptions of only children will actually be easier as I’m starting again with a blank page, as opposed to trying to edit something that now feels as old as that book I posted last week.
Following on from the picture I posted last week from a book I wrote at the age of six titled ‘900 years ago’ (which would now be ‘920 years ago…), I thought I’d post the whole thing. Why? Because I enjoy reading other people’s more personal history-related blogs. Because I find it amusing that I seemed to like history at an early age (it was kind of a love-hate relationship actually). Because it’s my blog and I can’t think of anything else to talk about this week.
This week, I attended a lunchtime ‘Gender and Space’ roundtable held by my department. It was well-attended and there were lots of questions and discussion, which was great - we didn’t actually think it would fill the two-hour slot the room was booked for, but it did! There were three main speakers, including a visitor to the department I hadn’t met before, and myself and my fellow PhD student Nicolle Watkins (who chaired) also said a few words.
On Wednesday, I went on a course about psychoanalytic methodologies at my university, broadly aimed at people in the humanities and social sciences who might want to use such methodologies, but don’t know a huge amount about them. I decided to go in case I could pick up anything that would add ‘sparkle’ to my thesis - obviously as I’m in third year, it’s a bit late to give them a huge place in it. Plus, if I stay in academia (and that’s currently a very big IF), I might be able to use them in future projects.
Firstly, the hopeful news (I hesistate to say ‘good’ when I’ve still got so far to go): with the exception of the conclusion, which I plan to write right at the very end, all the chapters of my thesis (and a couple more besides) are drafted! I’ve written everything I want to say - now I need to slim it down, totally rewrite some chapters and edit/rearrange som others. I just did my first ever word count of the whole lot, and I have 110,446 words - so that’s a whopping 30,446 to lose. So, what’s my plan from here on in?
Last weekend, a friend and I visited the abovementioned exhibition, which showcases for the first time a curated collection of items from the Metropolitan Police Museum, also known as the Black Museum. Until now, these have only been available to view to a limited number of people, and the popularity of the exhibition demonstrates how many people have been intrigued and fascinated by this hidden collection.