The Post-PhD Life


It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I was trawling through all my old accounts and noticed the footfall for the Pimpernel had been quite heavy of late, so I thought I would pop in and say, HI! Nice to see you and thanks for dropping by.

Life has changed now I am now Dr. Pimpernel and I have the elusive Ph.D. in the bag … official and everything and OH! my word, life is somewhat exceeding expectations and undermining them, simultaneously!

Graduation was a wonderful day full of love and laughter and celebration and almost made the hard work and anxiety worth it … almost. In the intervening two years … TWO YEARS! ┬átempus fugit indeed! … I have once more been hospitalised for major surgery, with another surgery imminent … gynaecologically speaking, if I was a horse they would have shot me! But here I am, still ploughing on, still buying my body weight in books, half of which I will never get a chance to read!

And, in other news: I am a lecturer. Albeit at a small local FE/HE college, but never the less I am doing it! Sharing my love of the written word!

All in all the Ph.D. journey began by accident. My intention on embarking upon an undergraduate degree was to enable a career in teaching. Fortunate enough to secure funding and foolish enough to think that a Ph.D. meant something, I followed the dream and created a monster. I fell hook, line and sinker into the academic bubble and nurtured dreams of a promising future, researching long forgotten women writers, publishing fascinating books and being hailed as the next F.R. Leavis.

Alas, a need to work and earn money has overridden my desire for academic acclaim, hence the ┬álecturing post at a local FE/HE college. Mainly my job entails teaching communication (that’s English grammar to those of us old enough to remember o’levels) but I do get to teach literature as well, and this is the part that sustains me. The job is rewarding in so any ways, but it is equally as time-consuming and finding the right balance between my economic and creative selves is proving a challenge!

IN the two years since I graduate, I’ve written very little, fallen into slovenly academic habits and allowed myself to drift into the day-to-day humdrum of earning a crust …


I am hopeful that a re-awakening of my academic vigour is imminent and with the reviatlisation of this blog – or possiby a reincarnation of the Pimpernel into something more ‘grown-up’ ( or groan-up, which seems more apt! Though it looks like that domain name is already spoken for!) – I can hopefully overcome the debilitating ‘writer’s block’.

There’s a book proposal on my desk that is waiting to be put together, there’s peer-reviewing in my inbox, waiting to be read and there’s two weeks without students to reinvent my blogging self. The marking, can wait!

I invite you to submit suggestions for my new blogging personna … literary allusions wanted: apply within.