Had my second supervisory board yesterday. Not as plain-sailing as the first one, but there weren’t any shocks either.
I couldn’t think what to write about this week, as I haven’t really done much of note lately. I’ve been recovering from all the writing, practicing my talk, going to the BL and discovering Ann Oakley (the feminist sociologist, not the shooter), who is my new favourite person - not only interesting and entertaining in her writing, but useful for my thesis too! So I decided to try to do a Q&A. I got two responses, which was two more than I expected, and one of them contained multiple questions. So yay!
This week’s post is about writing (again), editing, and wasting time.
It’s been another week of writing, this time about early twentieth-century psychologists’ ideas about only children. I’ve managed to draft the main bit, but now I have fiddly bits to add in - psychologists who were less vocal on the subject but said similar things, information about the psychologists, some sort of introduction - and I am starting to get a little fed up now. Not ‘argh I’ve hit the wall and can’t do any more’ fed up but ‘meh, suppose I’d better get this done, not like I have anything else to do anyway’ fed up.
This week I’ve been writing. A lot. I’ve produced nearly 2,000 words more than I expected to in the amount of time I’ve had, and a topic (the Mass Observation Family Survey) I thought would take up 4,000 words maximum has just hit exactly 8,000 (pre-editing, of course, and with a couple of bits I know I need to add). It’s been like Lisa Simpson and the tap shoes, but with academic writing. I’m doing it because my next board paper is due on 9th June, the actual board being on the 19th.
This week, on Monday 12th May, I took part in the annual Mass Observation Day, when people are called upon to record everything they did during the day. I did it last year, but, being a Sunday, I didn’t really have much to report - I only left the house to go to Tesco! This year’s was a lot more involved, so I’m going to write about my experience of being a Mass Observer for the day.
It’s another one of those weeks where I have nothing ‘big’ to write about, but a couple of things I did have sparked off other thoughts I can set out a bit here.
To sum up this week, I’ve read a load more positive/balanced articles about only children, transcribed an interview with one nasty only child and one nice one, discussed my next board with my supervisor which will hopefully be in mid-June (have you ever tried to find a date and time where three academics are free? It’s painful) and been shopping because in a couple of weeks I have an informal interview for a little job - nothing substantive to write about for a blog, in other words. So, as I’m feeling reflective, I thought I’d write about how PhD has measured up to my expectations so far. Hoping it might be of use to anyone who’s applied for/thinking of applying for a PhD and wants to know more about it.