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first thesis draft to supervisors

March 1st, 2010No Comments  

My target has been to complete, print and bind a first full draft of the phd thesis, to give to both supervisors by 1st of March and i did make it today! I have been feeling emotional about it, for many reasons that are linked to the connections between the phd and my personal life but my aim was to complete the task of having a full draft at this stage. I am aware that there is still work to be done but i  have to let it go for now and take a breath and rest, till i meet with my supervisors in about 3 weeks time and we discuss their feedback and steps forward…i need some sleep and yet ‘life still happens’ and so many issues that have been on hold due to the phd process are screaming out for my attention…so, taking deep breath and keep going while taking time to stay still and reflect…

supervision with W. (heuristic ‘tuning in’)

February 11th, 2010No Comments  

As i put together the final draft of my thesis, i can have a clearer vision of the research as a whole. And, in doing so, the inconsistencies or new insights come to the fore, in relation to the heuristic process. I feel unwilling to put the details of my insights in public sight as i am still processing them and reserving them for the ‘baby thesis’  that is preparing to be born…therefore, my silence continues in that virtual space, i am just reporting that i am allowing the heuristic tunings in to take place in a natural way, like the mother or midwife who gets prepared for the delivery…i have to keep breathing naturally, so that i can ‘push’ when the time comes…breath in…breath out…and allowing the final parts take form into a whole that will decide when ready to come to the world

supervision: towards first draft

January 21st, 2010No Comments  

I have been working towards producing the first draft of the whole of my PhD thesis for a while now…i am now writing the final chapter, not easy at all as it includes the various implications of my research, in ‘bolder’ terms – it requires that i am quite specific in my writing style at this section. It is the ‘mature’ phase of the ongoing and time-consuming meaning making process.  I then need to put it all together and start serious editing (!). I saw my supervisor today and we set specific goals according specific time deadlines that i shall aim for – i shall remain focus and look after my well-being too, given that my paid-work commitments take a lot of time too.  He seemed quite pleased with my progress but we cannot predict much yet, till both supervisors have a whole draft of my thesis to read thoroughly and set a meeting for feedback. I am struggling with holding the tension between staying with the demands of the ‘here-and-now’ of the process and all the hard work that there is still to do and visualing the ending point of completion: i feel anxious, excited, motivated, scared and impatient – all feelings together!

supervision with W. (on literature)

December 9th, 2009No Comments  

I have managed to complete another chapter of my thesis (literature) within the deadline set between myself and my supervisor.  I just came back from supervision, where we discussed the draft of my chapter. I was pleased to hear his view about the quality of my writing; we went through the chapter together and discussed some critical points about the choices i have made. He has some useful suggestions that would improve this chapter, such as do some cleared signposting of the subheadings and include a summary at the end.

I have now completed drafts of all chapters of the thesis, apart from the Introduction and the Conclusion. The next target is to attempt to write those 2 chapters by around end of February time, in which case i will have a full draft of the thesis. The plan after that will be that both my supervisors read the full draft and suggest what is required so that the thesis comes together. If all goes well, i will be able to submit in late spring or early summer. The submission date is still unpredictable, until we have a full draft of the thesis. I am feeling very tired at the moment and i also have the commitments of my P/T teaching job but i am making all effort required to keep focused, healthy and complete the tasks. I also hold a lot of questions and uncertainty around my future, post phd…but it is best to focus on the here-and-now as it is quite demanding! This is my helpful mantra for now: STAY IN THE HERE-AND-NOW!

‘Iteration’ in qualitative research

September 15th, 2009No Comments  

I have been struggling in my writing with the idea that a PhD chapter cannot get to a stage of completion or coherence in order to move to a next one, i seem to start and stop several writings at the same time, having to return to them numerous times too and getting frustrated with the feeling of  costant ‘incomplteteness’ that fills me with anxiety…that state of ‘flux’ and ‘limbo’ is of course a central theme in the whole phenomenon i am exploring and in the research process.

I went to see my supervisor, seeking his guidance for me to move away from that kind of ‘trap’. And here he came talking to me about this being a natural process that is best to accept and embrace than resist, something that he describes with a new english word for me: ITERATION. This is apparently a concept used in Maths and Computer Programming to describe “the act of repeating a process usually with the aim of approaching a desired goal or target or result”. So, i was advised that, at this stage of my attempt to draft a whole of a PhD Thesis, i need to have the patience and useful attitude to be ‘repeating’ parts of the process or move around several parts and constantly add the changes that emerge through the process of writing, till reaching a point that the thesis will ‘hand together’ as a good enough whole. That has been happening anyway in all my projects of academic writing so far…but, i am now taking a new, grounded stance of acceptance and embrace for it…encouraging myself for all these ‘re-visits’ upon my text…till i complete…and, as it is usually true for the therapy process: “a client is ready to complete therapy when he/she realised that it can actually go on for ever”…so, there is the broader issue here about creativity and finding one’s way to express it, knowing that there are several attempts till producing something that sits comfortable…and, although that can be on-going, there is also a point that the writing will have to stop, and that will be ok, at least for the purposes of a PhD