Dr Alice Violett
Book witterings and PhD archive

Four weeks to go: what I did this week

So, this week has been pretty productive.  Summer has arrived.  As some of you will already know, I find summer extremely isolating, and the lack of activity makes me feel a bit closed-in, but on the other hand I do get a lot done, having nothing else to do but work.  I wrote the bulk of my thesis during the summer months last year.  So, what have I achieved since I last blogged?

Following my panic last week, I bought a notebook to organise my job-hunt and keep myself afloat.  For some reason, having a dedicated notebook, and keeping track of what I’m doing/needs to be done makes me feel a bit more enthusiastic and much calmer - probably a control thing.  I’m not great at art, or straight lines, but I made up a few pages about the purpose of the notebook, the purpose of me, and some grids to record when I looked at what job websites, and for what kinds of job:

An image from my job notebook

An image from my job notebook

An image from my job notebook

An image from my job notebook

I’ve almost fooled myself into being excited about, rather than scared of, the future!

Also this week, I wrote my paper for the Children’s History Society’s inaugural conference, Horrible Histories, which is happening on the 16th-18th June.  I surprised myself by writing the whole thing in one day - usually, it would take me at least two!  I guess I was a) excited to be producing words, rather than deleting them, and b) excited by the topic.  I will be talking about how only children used only-child stereotypes to frame their childhood experiences, and I think that’s one of the more interesting and intelligent aspects of my thesis.  Whereas with the 30-minute paper I did a couple of months ago, I wasn’t sure if I could fill the time, with this 20-minute paper, I had to select only the best examples, and leave out things I would have liked to talk about.  Could this be a potential journal article?  I’m really excited about the conference itself - as well as being society secretary, I’ll know lots of people there, and there are lots of exciting papers (in three concurrent strands, making it a nightmare to decide which ones to see!).  Not to mention that it’ll get me out of the house, and it might well be my last multiple-day conference (we’ll have to see).

As for the thesis, I have one more chapter and the conclusion to brutally edit, and then final draft 3.docx will be complete.  It will pretty much be the final piece - I’ll have it another read-through or two before I print it, of course, but there won’t be any more major changes.  Hopefully I’ve weeded out most of the typos - I’ve been through pretty much sentence-by-sentence, and been shocked by mistakes I’ve overlooked in the past!  I’ve deleted a whopping 3,961 words so far, which I’m amazed by, quite frankly.

My plans for the next week, then, are to finish the fine-tooth comb edit, practice my Horrible Histories paper, and go to the conference.  As one of the conference days is a Saturday, I’ll be sure to take a day off in the week in lieu!