A sense of purpose

Amazing when you have a deadline the things you can do. Last weekend I had a lovely time pottering about the house, planning a few fun things and not really worrying about the PhD. Then, Monday, BAM! I’m there, baby!

I am very much on the home stretch now. Although my lit review is still messy, it’s a lot better already than it was just last week. I think in a week I’ll be able to start on my discussion chapter and connect the dots from the findings to the research.

My thesis review was passed on Monday, and although the reviewer thought I needed 3-6 months to finish, she doesn’t know me when I’m on a roll. That is, I only have four weeks left to write this thing, so I’d better get on and do it.

I’ve sat in my smelly jim-jams all day today, working on my PhD. I’ve taken a scatter-gun approach to the work because I tend to get bored and instead of sitting grumpily looking at my lit review wanting to watch GoT I’ll fix up bits of my method chapter, or introduction, or fill in some more missing bits of my reference list. This is working for me now as I can see the overall structure of the thesis and where it’s not linking, or some such.

I have a list of Things To Do which was provided by the thesis reviewer. Many of them I’ve already done because they were simple formatting problems. Other TTD, including the links between my conceptual framework, research questions, theoretical underpinnings and my findings, are rather harder to do work around. But because of my jumping back and forth between literature, methodology and introduction, I’ve now been able to find the big gaps.

When I look at what is required in the overall conceptual framework, the key issues that I’m trying to investigate aren’t always clear. This is the hard bit. How do I ensure the key issues are front and centre in the lit review and discussion? But this is the deep question I have grappled with over the last 4 years and in a way it’s not getting any easier to answer when I look too closely at the literature. So I have to keep stepping back and decide what’s pertinent and what’s not. I think I’m finding the way through.

The reviewer reminded me to keep matching the findings to my theoretical framework, which is cultural psychology. A good thing to remember because the literature can keep creeping outward to general research in one-to-one music teaching, rather than focussing on the three main things I am investigating. So I need to keep going back to my research questions. Which I’m doing.

The sense of purpose and purposeful work I am doing fills me with great satisfaction, and I feel I’m getting into a flow state of writing much quicker than I could even a year ago. Leaving FB was a Very Good Idea.








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