Am all Ph-Deed out and the allotment is a mess.
The photo above is my floor at home. Is it familiar? Does anyone else have a floor like this? I seem to have forgotten the slip/trip lesson resulting in a broken ankle and cancelled New Zealand trip two years ago.
The photo below is my allotment, taken last night. The wildness of the chives and limnanthes is lovely but the couch grass has taken hold since my last broken ankle (another one – last year) Some of the beds are covered in an attempt at weed control, essential at this time.
I love my allotment. It’s sunshine, exercise, food, therapy, catharsis and sheer delight – most of the time.
It is also hard work and when everything is growing like crazy, falling behind gets stressful.
A blog post is many things; record of an event, reflection, observation, memory jogger, research diary etc. This blog is all of these and – today – is also statement of intent.
A part-time doctorate alongside full-time work is almost an impossible challenge. The months pass. The amount of available time decreases as the amount to be achieved (research wise) increases. I have my data – far more than I need. In terms of the research quadrants model I built ages ago and now sits on an inaccessible server rather than in the cloud (lesson learned!) I’ve moved into the third area of data analysis. Transferring to Northampton has led to a slight shift in emphasis – for the better – which requires a re-review of the literature. Much of the taken-out initial reading around learning design is coming back in – hence the floor. It might be a digital age but there’s no substitute paper papers and annotation by hand. It’s how I work best and at the moment I need all the help can get!
It’s a bank holiday weekend. For the next three days this is my plan:
- plant tomatoes and get early morning reading onto Mendeley
- weed pond area and write up notes from said papers (currently Bart Rientes on learning design)
- sow barlotti and purple beans (it’s late – I know!) and revisit the recommended adjustments to an accepted ALT paper submitted with colleague Patrick Lynch (who you gonna call? )
- tidy raspberry canes hidden by weeds and mark PCAP assignments (PhD deviation but deadline is Tuesday)
- clear and replant pots from respite area and write/submit proposal to Research Student Conference (deadline Monday)
Allocate time they say.
Rule off blocks of hours for working they say.
Give up all semblance of a social life or R&R.
They’re not joking!!
Research is like an allotment. It needs time. You have to fit it into your life – or build your life around it.
Without attention is gets a mess – like this…
With attention it looks better, you feel better, and progress forward is achieved. What’s not to like? All it needs is time and commitment. So this is my statement of intent. Bring on the bank holiday weekend. Lets weed and write!