I started this blog back in the distant days of my early career as a Ph.D student.
I say “career” because for me it was the equivalent of a full time job with the added
disadvantage of being able to organise my working hours around a growing family. As a single parent I remember thinking how ‘ideal’ this arrangement was, and to a certain extent it was. However it also meant for some very stressful times, when work life and home life seemed destined to collide and the debris was not pretty!
I started out on blogger and moved to WordPress roughly around the time I was planning my nervous break-down. I think most doctoral candidates suffer at least one of these at one point or another , some endure several ( I think I may have had more than my fair share, what with me being
so damned wound up most of the time so laid back and all … )
It has been a test of endurance, physically and mentally. I have gained more weight than I care to admit through excessive sitting … I laugh in the face of the physiotherapist who “advised” me to read whilst on a treadmill … oh yes that way accidents lie, I can tell you from experience!
In the course of the years I have been studying I have been hospitalised for major surgery twice, once for a broken limb and several times for Biliary colic, caused by gallstones, resulting in one of the surgeries!
I started this whole journey whilst going through a painful divorce, I think it was my way of rediscovering who I was and where I wanted to go with my life … back in 2002.
What started as a one-day-a-week access course led to 1o years of full-time study.
And finally on September the 25th 2013, I submitted my doctoral thesis.
On November 15th 2013, I passed my viva with minor corrections … to become the first Doctor in our family history.
I PASSED – YOU MAY
BOW DOWN TO ME CALL ME, (FANFARE PLEASE)
DR PIMPERNEL ….
I am Ph.D Pimpernel, MA(hons), M.Litt, Ph.D … there are more letters after my name than there are actually in my (real) name!
Has it been worth it? I am not entirely sure yet. On a personal level I am a different person to the one that started out. I am more confident and assured in my own abilities, but very aware that the more I learn the less I seem to know. I sometimes wake in the night sweating with panic at the thought of all the books I haven’t read … I think this is what’s commonly known as an occupational hazard of long-term study!
By necessity this blog must evolve – like myself – from the caterpillar into the butterfly … or in my case maybe more of a moth …
The search has begun in earnest for an academic posting and the reality that all this entails is hitting me quite hard. The Ph.D has been like a huge, iridescent bubble, shielding me from the harsh realities of the real world … and now that bubble has been popped, in a spectacular way and I am left, once more, exposed ….
I am not sure whether I shall continue blogging. I can’t say I am a natural at it and it has been sporadic at best, usually whole months between posts and then a clumpy flurry of not a lot, so maybe as a form it isn’t my bag?
But who knows what 2014 may bring. Thank you for following my erratic progress. I raise a glass to all of you who are still treading the minefield that is postgraduate research and wish you every success in 2014 and for years to come.
So, it’s a fond farewell from me … for now at least!