As you know from my last post, I officially started a PhD a month ago. In that time I have read so much that I think my eyes are going to fall out because my brain is exploding. My neck hurts because it feels like I’m carrying around so much information, much of which I’m not sure I’ll need any time soon and some of it I don’t really understand to be quite frank. But I have to read in order to be able to write! In the last month I have had two meetings with my supervisors, via Skype for one of them as she lives interstate- ahh the beauty and advantage of technology. I have to admit that I’ve spent much of my time reading off the screen – actually that’s probably why my eyes feel like they are going to pop out. I love reading other people’s blogs and am now officially a twitter addict! I can’t help it. My newest adventure has to be chats. I’ve got alarms on my phone to remind me when to log in, although a number of them go off at the wrong time, since I can’t quite get the time zones correct so I find myself coming into the chat room a day ahead or one behind or in the middle or, well, one wasn’t happening for another week! I use tweetchat to log in as it’s easier than trying to follow and respond on twitter. I’ve learned so much over the last month through both twitter and many blogs, not to mention the 10 books I have stacked in front of me and the 20 or so journal articles neatly filed horizontally to my left!
There are many individuals out there researching, one of my favs is reading PhD Talk Blog and the Thesis Whisperer. Don’t feel you have to click on these, I only like them cause they’re relevant for me at the moment – oh wait – what a nifty idea how about we teach our students stuff that’s relevant or if we have to teach something that’s not find a way to make it relevant – sorry lost my head for a moment – that’ll be the teacher in me. I still do that too, teach I mean, and love it. CRT work while a little scarce at the moment- since there are Yr 12 teachers around with no official classes on- is still important to me. I love being in the classroom and using all the strategies I ‘preach’ about in my consultancy work. You see I walk the talk not just talk it.
Anyhow, back to the topic at hand – easily distracted – and those who know me will be ‘LOLing‘ right now – the PhD was the topic. Reading up on the philosophical questions is where I began. That was my homework after our first ‘official’ meet. I was told to ‘problematise’ everything. Why is my topic worth researching? What am I going to contribute to existing knowledge? I needed to engage in the current debate, find out what others are saying. What kind of researcher am I going to be? Look at the different research approaches, ontology vs epistemology, constructivist, interpretivist etc. Am I going to be an ethnography, or will I be investigating phenomenology? “Put your toe in the water for grounded theory, see how you feel about it.” Getting the picture? Now do you understand why my brain is exploding? Don’t get me wrong. It’s a ‘good’ thing. I am really enjoying it. The learning I have done over the last few weeks is simply a-mazing – literally, it does feel like being lost in a maze but knowing that along the way there will be little clues and rewards and that eventually you’ll find your way into the middle where there will be a portkey to safely land you where you need to be – not like Harry but in a place where everything will feel like it was all worth it.
So here it is after a month, I have done lots of reading in order to be informed enough to have the courage not only to write but to actually share what I write with my supervisors! That first Musing_01 as I called it was really scary to send. I had all these terrible thoughts of them feeding back that I might as well forget this research idea, that I haven’t got what it takes, that well maybe you should reconsider…happily they didn’t.
Thanks for reading 🙂