Saturday, 30 June 2012

The end of productivity...

...well hopefully not, but it is the end of Productive June today. At least I'm ending it on a somewhat productive note, as I am in fact at uni today (yes Saturday) working on my thesis - well besides this quick break I'm obviously taking! As it is so quiet in the PhD office on the weekend (usually only 1-2 other people come in, but I'm often alone) I find it less distracting, but also since I know I'm depriving myself of relaxing/having fun I think I may as well use the time properly and actually do work. 

My writing is going reasonably too. Many people gave me the advice "just write 500 words a day", and I have to say, now that I have finally taken that advice it actually works. I've been (nerdishly) plotting my word count in an excel spreadsheet graph, and I find it encouraging to see the progress. It also spurs me on to at least get to 500, and once I do that I usually end up writing more. It's also helped me to worry a bit less about the looming deadline of November 12 (to be henceforth known as "arrgh no more scholarship must hand in dreaded thesis day" ...too long?), as I (also nerdishly) calculated exactly how many words I could have written by then if I write around the same amount most days. It seems feasible I could have a thesis by then! The other cool thing (well cool to me anyway) is that since I'm doing so much thinking/reading/writing about my topic, I'm really starting to enjoy it again. Additionally it's encouraging to re-read things I first read in my first year and barely understood, and find that now not only do I understand it, but I can critique it.

One downside however is the increasing pile of papers and mess my desk is accumulating. I think this PHD comic sums it up pretty well:

from here
Well sorry if this was totally boring but hey this is pretty much my life at the moment - so thanks for calling my life boring :P

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Oh No! Or... Hooray?

So as I mentioned a little while ago, I gave myself a haircut on a whim, due to my distaste of going to hair salons. It was not very good. I finally decided to get it fixed, and got a hairdresser who came to my house, which was good. I asked for it quite short, and well now it definitely is that...

I'm not 100% sure what I think about it to be honest, but perhaps in a few days I'll like it better. Otherwise I guess I'll just be wearing a lot of hats.

And be towering over Manhattan about to grab the Statue of Liberty (not to scale).

P.S. At least this has been a fairly good distraction from the 'aargh thesis' side of life!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Productive June...

... has actually so far been quite productive (no idea what Productive June is?)! Mostly due to the minor freaking out that is going on in my brain about trying to finish my thesis. Even though this past weekend was a long weekend (woowoo), I ended up going to uni to work on Saturday. It ended up being quite successful, and I'm now thinking I'll do it every Saturday from now on (the excitement never ends here people!). 

I think what happened productivity-wise was I just stopped being in denial as to when my thesis is actually due. While November 12th may still seem quite far away (it's actually 5 months exactly today), I have 8 chapters to write, and specific deadlines each month of when each chapter draft is supposed to go to my supervisor. Not to mention the fact that I'll probably have revisions to make once she's read each chapter! At this stage I'm not sure I will be able to properly meet those deadlines, to be honest.

Because I didn't want this post to just be a boring whinge, here's this thing I found amusing. 

[you can get it on a t-shirt at threadless!]
So in conclusion, aargh. 

Q: Are you having a Productive June so far?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


...I got accepted to the neuroanatomy course in September! This is the most excited I've been in ages. The course sounds super interesting (even if it is only for 1 week), and I'm so grateful that my flights will be reimbursed and accommodation is sorted. The scary part is the flying (which, while I'm better at I still don't love), and the potentially organising meetings/job interviews while there. 

That's my main news for now, so here a picture of a castle near the place I'm going in Wales - perhaps I'll get to cross off my 30 before 30 item #17: visit another castle!

Penrhyn Castle near Bangor, Wales [via]

P.S. Did anyone see the Transit of Venus today? I did, it was awesome, and made me decide to add an astronomy degree to my just-for-fun medieval history degree I plan to do when I'm an old retired person with nothing else to do. If you missed it, don't worry, it happens again only 105 years from now :P
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