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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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…

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.

Embarrassing myself

I played my first badminton singles match competitively (not professionally but Grade C?) and probably broke the record for the lowest score I could get… which is 1 and 2…. out of 21.

I don’t feel like a loser, but I do think I got to start training and make practice a priority if I want to improve from 2 points haha…

I have always played badminton for leisure, never for competitions. This is my first time doing so… and it definitely punches me in the gut to know I am not good enough yet.

I shall work hard, just like how I have to work hard for my PhD… because I see myself not achieving what I want in my PhD journey. A lot of things are still not good enough to me.

The progress on PhD has not been going smooth and easy. Had another meeting with my two supervisors yesterday and we kinda found an angle to target for my thesis… now we are talking some business.

Now I kinda wonder what I’d been doing for the past 2 years under my ex-supervisor. Felt like none of the work I’d done is meaningful at all.

And I think it is inevitable that I will need to do more interviews for my research. I am really reluctant to do so, and tried so hard to wriggle myself out of this “sample is not rich” problem since day one.

And did I mention I hate talking to people? It’s just tiring to be curious and pick out interesting things in a conversation. That’s why socialising is my least favourite thing to do as a grown up.

Maybe because I don’t like to embarrass myself, and in front of others.

Just like how I hate myself now for volunteering to play in the badminton matches.

Also, just felt bad for letting my team mates down… and potentially my PhD supervisors too.

Wandering mind

It’s more than a week since my last meeting with the new supervisory team, and I have approximately 4 working days before I present to them my game plan.

Truth to be told, I have been finding any speck of data that might pique their interests… with little success.

I mean, if I’m not feeling excited about my own data, how can I convince others that it is exciting?

Oh gosh, my mood is as gloomy as the April sky.

Maybe I need to dig deeper and harder into the data. Time to get my hands more dirty in the (data) mining field then.

And I need to keep on moving.