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.

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Back to the drawing board

Tomorrow, I will be 9 months away from the thesis submission dateline.

Thesis wordcount: paragraphs are everywhere just not where I want them to be

I can’t wait to get back home now. My supervisors think it is a great chance to do some data collection (oh no).

Don’t get me wrong, I came to terms that I needed more data than what I have at the moment. But doing another round of interviews is not on my favourite list.

I don’t even know how to reach my interviewers. What should I say? Hello, can I give you a call when I touch down and we can do a bit of follow up? If it is that easy.

I think my fragile heart can’t take anymore rejection (insert dramatic music)…

Jokes aside, I think I just need to thicken up my face and start get in contact with my interviewees. Nothing to lose anyway.

Rather than worrying about word count, I probably got to be more worried about my unproductive brain.

Probably my holiday mode kinda got switched on and never got switched back to work mode.

Lighting up the thesis sparkles?

Less than 10 months to go and my word count for my thesis is back to zero.

I am glad that the supervisor fiasco is all over (not really… I have a tad feeling it is not over yet) and to have proper supervision now. These two supervisors have put my work under the microscope and have been interrogating me in every meeting.

Then I realised there are just too many flaws in my thesis.

And I really don’t communicate well in spoken words. I tend to stay silent during the meeting, because I am too afraid to speak out. And I don’t know what to say.

Have to admit that I don’t see any sparkles that would excite me with my research at the moment.

Perhaps I need more time to find the sparkles back.

Just returned from a quick trip to Taipei, and I was really enjoying the flight time where I don’t think about my thesis, and just plain not doing anything but sleep, watch some movies, and try not to get nauseous.

But most of all, I enjoyed spending my time with my family even though it was a short one.

Already missing them. Can’t wait to be back home in June for a bit of traveling.

For the time being, I shall try lighting up my dampened sparkles. Perhaps, I just need some time to dry out my dampened spirits haha…

Self-doubt

Gotta stop changing my research questions and stick to one.

I think I might have been jumping ahead of myself when it comes to writing my thesis.

It has been almost three weeks after I met a potential supervisor to join my supervisory team, I have not heard back from him ever since I sent some of my work.

Are academics really that heartless?

I think I need to get ready to be rejected and not set such a high expectation on myself.

Losing self-confidence is the last thing I want to see happening.

Back to juicing my brain out then…

My sense of urgency….

… literally is zero

Even after 2 weeks of going rouge without a main supervisor behind my shoulders, I still have yet to make my mind on replacing my supervisor.

The school said: “take your time… no rush…”

Back of my mind said: “alright… but pretty sure by the end of the month, you’ll be hunting me down eh?”

Monologue aside, I have been pouring my brain juice over my literature review…. as a way to distract myself from thinking too much into the supervising problems.

To be honest, I am quite shy to speak to the potential candidates.

And I do not have a lot of confidence to talk about my thesis… how much more interesting can you make your thesis? Flowery words and creativity is not exactly my number one skills…. I like dry and boring stuff.

PhD can be a lonely journey. They say it doesn’t have to be one, but I chose to have a lonely one myself.

Not complaining though.

12 months to go….

Better start running! (And look for the finishing line)

Here comes the last 12 months of my PhD journey (I’m so set to complete in 12 months, idc).

Truth to be told, I am still not sure what I’m doing. At times, I feel lost in my own thoughts and endless typing. Even retyping the Literature Review sounds like a productive work (albeit, wasting time) to me.

To pen down my feelings now is quite challenging. Coming back into office after a four-week holiday back home with my family was something I looked forward to. Not until I received words that my SV has officially announce her resignation…. and next her exit from my supervisory team.

I felt quite lost when I first received her email stating her intention to leave the team. I thought with her leaving the university, she can still be my external sv anyway. Not sure what changed her mind, but it took me quite a while to digest and reply her email. And to decide that it’s best to move on and respect her decision.

I guess at times like this, being emotional is useless. Better save my tears for much more happier occasions.

On a side note though, now I kinda wonder my sixth sense was so firm in telling me I should complete my PhD in 2 years. I won’t say that I saw this coming, but I have been through so many occasions where my sixth sense was so much more accurate than the weather forecasts.

Off I go on a typing fiesta for the next 12 months.

Back to work!

Happy New Year!

I think the New Year has brought in a refreshed energy in… I’m slowly getting my writing productivity back.

I just need to stay focused for like 2 hours straight, without getting distracted… which is proved to be slightly difficult whenever I’m stuck with words to write.

I have everything in my head! My thesis is perfectly presented in my head! But why does it look different on screen/paper?

Now that I think of it, I’m not even sure what’s interesting in my findings… Heck, my least favourite question from my supervisors: “So what’s new?”

When people say a PhD thesis does not have to be a Nobel prize-winning research or even ground-breaking, they are not lying. But they still expect to find something new and noble from the research… I find that the whole “what’s new” question is really non-meaningful at all.

I value more of the entire PhD process rather than the outcome of it though. I don’t think my supervisors think of it that way. All they have in mind is: get this student to finish, make sure the study is interesting, and, if the student is keen, lead the student to the publishing pathway and get their names on it. (The part about authorship is a really messy business, I reckon.)

Oh yeah, I have a relatively twisted view on the entire PhD thing. Apart from learning how to deal with academics, how to do a proper research, and how to write like a scholar, I can’t really find anything else that is attractive about doing research (especially in a university).

In short, I want out. But my pride is stopping me from quitting. I don’t want to give up halfway.

I still have less than 14 months to finish this. If I can complete an Honours thesis in 10 months, anything is possible!

Wondering if I can dodge any chance of meeting with either one or both of my supervisors (okay maybe reducing the number of meeting)…. I don’t want to get on the cycle of rewriting and ranting about it.