The panel date has been set for July 10, so I have been frantically trying to write a chapter this week.  Well, not the entire chapter in a week, but I have managed to get a first draft finished in the last ten days, which is good.  It still needs a lot of work, because I would like to present my supervisors with something that’s really well polished this time.  I’m going to put in some more musical examples, because a lot of the chapter is about fitting words to music and how more than one ballad used the same tune.  It also needs grounding in a bit more theory, because at the moment it’s rather speculative in places.

I’ve also been trying to put together all the paperwork that goes with the panel meeting.  I’ve updated my training log and made a list of all the seminar papers and public talks I’ve given.  I spent some time over lunch today trying to come up with a plan of research over the next twelve months.   It’s rather difficult when you don’t know how long it will take to get things done, but I’ve given it a go.  I’ve also come up with a list of goals for summer, which I’ll put in another post.  I made a list of all the bits of my thesis that I’ve done and everything else that I’ve done over the last year, which was quite eye-opening since it turned out I’ve done rather a lot, actually!

But it’s been a particularly busy week because I’m also working on two other projects alongside the chapter for the panel.  The first is another draft of my epitaph ballad article, which I’m really enjoying working on.  The other is a piece for the introduction, which defines ‘ballad’.  That may sound easy, but I suspect that it might be the most difficult part of the entire thesis.