So, I’ve been reading nineteenth century child guidance manuals for a little while now, and next Tuesday I need to give my supervisor some sort of idea of where I’m getting with them. This blog post is an attempt to knit them all together, benefitting myself, but hopefully other people will find it an interesting read! This is very much preliminary, so hopefully I won’t accidentally plagiarise myself when it comes to writing this up for real. Anyway, the real thing will have better-considered language and some stuff about the popularity of the books.
This week has been all about the primary sources, both online and offline. On Monday I went to the British Library to read a couple of books I hadn’t been able to get hold of elsewhere, and transcribed most of an oral history interview. The rest of the time, I’ve been using the internet to find out extra information about the nineteenth-century guidance books I’ve read so far. I’ve also found a couple more such books I want to read along the way, and got a four-week trial for Mass Observation Online, which I’m massively excited about using - it looks so interesting!
Today: read a book from 1913 about how only children get physiological problems. Transcribed interview with healthy 99 year old only child. HISTORY.
I say it’s not a survival guide because there really wasn’t much to survive. At least now I don’t have to worry about future boards because I know that unless I just completely stop working or produce a horrendous paper, it’s going to be OK. Let this be a reassurance to future PhDs, or those who haven’t had their boards yet. This post is a mixture of reflection and advice.
I’ve been let down a couple of times this week, simply because I only started my PhD in October. I couldn’t go on a teaching course for people who aren’t teaching yet because it’s only for second years and upwards (even though by the time it comes around in second year I might already be teaching anyway), and I wasn’t given the travel funding I really wanted because I’m not in second or third year (the form stated they ‘usually’ give it to second and third years. Problematic, as I will explain, but worth a shot, right?). I don’t think this is OK.
This week, I’m mostly pondering my feelings about what I’m going to do after this PhD. It’s a long way off, but I went to a careers event this week that sent my head into a bit of a spin.