I started this blog back in the distant days of my early career as a Ph.D student.

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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 … )

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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)

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DR PIMPERNEL ….

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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 …

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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 ….

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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?

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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!

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9 thoughts on “An Update

  1. CONGRATULATIONS, Dr. Pimpernel! So happy for you. I hope you will continue to blog as you can — I so look forward to your thoughts on this whole, crazy academic world. 🙂

  2. Congratulations!! I’m just starting my journey in academia and came across your blog. Your experiences are so inspiring and I’ll be reading through your archive for some guidance. Good luck with your future.

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