2016

… and the extension that I dreaded.

Despite my efforts to keep within my timeline of finishing PhD in 3 years, 2015 has not went very well. Changing supervisors and taking the whole drama pretty hard on myself made me question the reasons I came on board the PhD journey. I don’t know how I managed to pass through those few months with my new supervisor panel. I still remember the amount of tears I shed in the meetings, feeling afraid and angry at myself for losing it in front of them.

And then there’s the 6-month scholarship extension.

It allows me to submit my thesis later but I did felt like I failed in keeping my promise to finish this in 3 years. I thought I could achieve the impossible. While there is less 2 months to go before March comes around, I am still hanging a bit of hope to wrap up the writing by then.

I am grateful for being part of the PhD journey, but sometimes I lie in my bed thinking why on earth I am not giving up yet. I am not interested to be an academic (even though I am totally capable of handling the research part of the job) and I am not interested to publish, and I hate presentations. Not even sure whether I see value in my own work at times.

While I seek the light at the end of the tunnel, I know the only thing I can do is to move forward from now on and stop standing still like what I did for the past 6 months. I hate my unproductive self, but I have so little confidence in my own work, and myself, that it’s frustrating and tiring to continue this journey.

Not giving up yet. 2016 will be the year I am done with this PhD. And let me know if there’s such a thing as a thesis fairy… it will drastically help me finish my journey asap…

 

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Thesis writing camp

The school decided to organise a thesis writing camp… 2 and a half days… and over the weekend.

And on my own birthday too.

What a way to celebrate my birthday. I should totally reward myself for writing something then.

Then again, I wish my birthday present is a completed thesis draft.

If I can churn out 50,000 words in a day, obviously.

Hopefully, the sacrifice I made for this weekend is worth it.

I can’t wait to get a bit of time off in Melbourne next week. At least I need a proper birthday getaway… and give myself the chance to eat all the good food in Melbourne.

Getting knocked down…

… way too often by my supervisors.

I actually feel very tired of defending my own ideas now. The moment my supervisors start asking questions “why this and why not that?” I kept my silence and just thinking of scrapping the current one and move on to a building a new thesis from scratch.

Sometimes in our supervisory meeting, I feel like I am stepping into a boxing ring with my main supervisor as my opponent and my co-supervisor is the referee. Before I get to give my best shot at punching, my opponent would have pinned me down and I would have then gave up the thought of even continue the match.

I let my supervisors do the talking most of the time. Heck, I don’t even know how to answer some of their questions.

Why academics are so hard to please?

This just reaffirm my personal distaste to be surrounded by intelligent people. Worst if they are the intellectual kind.

Well, no hope to submit thesis on time then. Extension seems inevitable now.

Tears scorecard…

… I always have a suspicion that supervisors keep a record on the number of students broke down in front of them during a meeting.

I think I just got one strike in their records… damn it. Major fail in keeping my straight face.

Maybe it is not the time to pretend to be strong, and pretend that I’m good at facing uncertainties.

It’s just time to take a step back and reflect on things that happened for the past few months before I move on.

Just not ready to take the leap into battling with the uncertainties yet.

Length of thesis

Source: http://phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1807

Back from a extended family holiday which helps a bit with my mood. But writing is still slow. I wonder whether slow and steady will actually help me win the race… unless thesis writing is not a race?

As I ponder about my dateline, I kept on thinking about the word count for my thesis. At the moment, it stands pretty much at 0, since we are detouring from my original thesis at the moment. Hopefully, what I have written will be useful at least for the literature review *nervous laughs*

In any case, if I aim to finish in March next year I figure I will need to write at least 500 words per working day… and it must not be crap.

If making words flow out from my brain is as easy as it seems…

Movie afterthoughts: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

(Source: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/going-clear-scientology-and-the-prison-of-belief-2015)

I like good documentaries, and this one does lives up to my expectations of a good documentary. I have always been curious about Scientology ever since I heard about this “religion” and many would have taken a greater interest on this topic when in recent years the media has been reporting that Tom Cruise is a really high-level member of Scientology.

Oh yes, you will see some Tom Cruise (and John Travolta) footages in this documentary.

I don’t undermine people who believes in Scientology. In fact, we should not undermine anyone who believes in any religion. Extremism within a religion, especially in one like Scientology, is amusing though. From this documentary, I had learnt the great lengths people will go to achieve the highest level of the membership (mostly paying large sums of money), and how Scientology manages to avoid paying billions of tax by making the IRS recognising it as a tax-exempted organisation.

One thing that still leaves me amused is that they actually holds a lavish conference (annually?) and the whole set up looks like Oscars… Very much Hollywood style.

I won’t say it is a though-provoking documentary, but it is entertaining and not so much on the heavy-side. Considering I am not very much knowledgeable of the religion, I find the documentary is easy to follow and narrated nicely. I would consider buying the book to read too.

A long break from supervisors

Just came back from a good break. Spent more time with my family and felt so much love from my parents.

Interestingly, I think June and July must be the traveling months for many academicians… unless they have to deal with examinations.

For now, my main supervisor is away on his conference trips (i think), which coincide with my approved study leave (yay!).

I’m still stuck with where I started a few months ago. Though I feel like I’m in a rut (most of the time) but I kind of learn to take things a bit easy and let the inspiration comes to me instead. Plus, my family members kept on telling me to take it easy and enjoy my remaining few months as a student.

Somehow, I just feel tired about feeling guilty all the time on not working on my thesis. And sometimes, I hate the perfectionist in myself.

And at times, I truly thought of giving up.

Of course, it’s just a “thought”. There’s something that still keep me in this journey, and I think it’s mostly my pride.

If I told my parents I am giving up, I think they will support me haha… I mean, they are really not the kind that push the kids to do well in exams. I think they believe that peer pressure will do all the work for them.

Anyways, next week I’m off again for a trip with my family. I know, it’s kind of silly to rant about my thesis when I jet myself from one country to another. Not complaining about the traveling part though. I just enjoy the times I can have a blank mind and just absorb non-academics things.

I can’t wait to finish my thesis. 8 months to go then!