May 2015


There’s something strange about commuting to Manchester.  I don’t do it often anymore, but on Wednesday I tootled in to visit the Whitworth Art Gallery with Bolton Historical Association, and the trip down the M6, M61 and A580 brings with it a lot of memories.  Foremost among them is the recollection of driving down one fair summer evening before a PhD panel meeting, with all the windows wound down because it was so warm, listening to Macalla by Clannad.  Why it stuck so strongly is something of a mystery, although I did have a perfect evening out with my Fiend, so maybe that was it.

On Wednesday morning I was listening to the collection of Steve Tilston tracks on my ipod, which have been the soundtrack to my life, really, and lots of them I associate with significant events and moments.  At the moment, Steve is getting quite a bit of publicity because of Danny Collins and there was a lovely article in The Guardian today that I thought I would share with you.

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This post on the Thesis Whisperer’s blog managed to articulate much better than me almost exactly what I was trying to say in my last-but-one post. ‘Finished’ is a very strange place to be, especially when so many of us find it difficult to move into another role immediately upon completion.

The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by a British post doc working in Scandinavia on European Studies.

In the weeks and months leading up to the submission of my PhD, I found myself imagining what life would be like on the ’other side’. As a means of forcing myself over the final hurdle, I visualised how amazing it would be to be free of the thesis, to once again recover my weekends and my academic freedom, and how relieved I would be to hand over the culmination of three and a half years’ work.

And yet, when submission day dawned, and I took possession of the bound thesis and scurried to the research office to send it on its journey to the examiners, I felt…nothing.

Or at least, nothing beyond the profound fatigue that sets in after getting up at 5am to make it to the binders before the next month’s continuation…

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