30 September 2011

Third PhD Year

The third year of my PhD starts tomorrow, a Saturday. On 1 October 2012, there is, I suppose, some chance that I could be a fourth year PhD student, but probably not a funded one. Coming into the third year of the PhD, people around me have been introspective. Me being always introspective, I suppose I welcome the excused chance to reflect and look forward at the same time. So. Let's reflect.
  • Academically, the second year of the PhD was quiet, I suppose, but it was a year of binding, if that makes sense: pulling together data and ideas and analysis and starting to try to tell a story. I assembled my first draft of my thesis and quickly disassembled it: my supervisors say I keep showing them broken iterations of the thesis machine when they want me to show them my work on the thesis machine. I'm doing that now, but the process of trying to put the whole thing together was good, I believe. Like a batting cage, like a driving range--sports metaphors. Something you do outside of the game in preparation for the game.
  • In my professional development as an academic, I have made some progress I guess, but until next year and I see how the things I've done develop, saying I moved forward significantly is difficult. Time will tell. I will say, however, that getting together with Jonathan and Elena to write this bid could be the next biggest thing that happens to me in terms of my career. I'm happy to have cycled through again from wanting to stay to wanting to go to wanting to go (have a) home and back again. I think I need that in my career: time to think through all my options and consider what it is I want, professionally. If I can get money to answer the questions I want in the way that I want to... I think that's what I will pursue as long as I can. And that, to be clear, could be well into my thirties.
Of course, we will have to see. All I have to go on at this point is the past. And the past tells me that if I keep my head down, keep working and doing a little more and a little more, eventually the light will find me or I will find the light or whatever metaphorical conceptualisation works for you. I put a PhD submission ticker on this page, ticking down to 1 August 2012, 12PM when I plan and hope to submit.