Holidays, or PhD? PhD, or holidays? That is the conundrum pendulum for today. It’s a Saturday, after all, and Thursday I actually did 5 solid hours of work, but the rest of my family are on their summer break and the siren wail of long walks by the ocean, chippies and glasses of vino beckon, and it’s hard to get motivated when everyone else is lounging about!
Friday I couldn’t work as I was packing the car, driving the children of step to the beach house, shopping, and cleaning the house. So I have a deficit of 5 hours to make up next week. I am determined to make the time up, because it’s marching on and I’m getting antsy again. And as usual, getting started is ALWAYS the hardest part of the PhD work. Once I’m in, it’s much easier to stay there.
I’m aiming for 5 solid hours of study/ reading / writing per day, during the week, and time off for good behaviour on the weekend. I realistically won’t get any more time than this, because even if I start at 8, there’s lunch and walks to be had, dinner to make and time to be spent with my kids. But next week will be 6 hours a day – nearly full time! Gosh! But this makes up for the hopeless November studying, when I only did the equivalent of one week’s study for the whole month.
On the plus side, no more Facebook means much less procrastination. It’s been super hard to do, and I was trembling as I deactivated it, but already I feel less jumpy and disconnected and I’ve managed to stay on task much longer. If people want to get in contact with me, they can call me. If they don’t have my phone number, it’s readily available on the www. If it’s that important.
I am writing this blog from the relative difficulty of my internet dongle – it only has 2gig per month available to me, so I have to be a little circumspect about how much I use. But this is the moment – when I am away – when it comes most in handy. Most of the time I’m connected through work or home, so the dongle just gathers dust in its case. Just as well I’ve paid for it anyway. Sort of.
So, December will be the month to finish draft one of the literature review, which is currently about 14,000 words along. Then January will be writing my discussion chapter and finishing the introduction. February will be to look through the whole draft once again and put it into one single document – something I’ve not yet attempted. I have yet to make sense of my methods chapter because I’m so far removed from this that I’ve forgotten what I did and how I did it! But it’s getting there, slowly.
One thing I have yet to do is try and find the gaps in my work – what have I missed? One of the areas not really investigated is the current opera and concert stage world – the business of opera and how we perceive it when developing our students for a career in this industry. There is little actual research available – mostly the current work is about transitions OUT of the profession, so I have to glean information from anecdotal information including news articles, opinion pieces, interviews with professional singers and the like. Luckily, some clever folk have published books on the subject (purely journalistic) but I can extrapolate some of the better information which should help me build a case.
So, even though I’ve not done any study today or yesterday, my brain is percolating along. Again.