Friday, February 22, 2013

More on the phd as a Life of Pi metaphor

Post phd submission and my life of Pi blogpost needed revisiting, apparently we (me and the phd) are not so inseparable. It came back to visit.  What a gif(t) by Alexandre Filipe.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Improving on the blank page. PhD writing

So much of my phd time was spent getting words on the page, and then so much was spent in editing down...improving on the blank page is a struggle. I have looked at fabrics and thought to myself why did they writing a similar refrain might be heard. The blank page might have been, and might still be, an improvement.

Advice to young poets by Niccanor Parra

Write as you will
in whatever style you like
too much blood has run under the bridge
to go on believing one road is right.
In poetry everything is permitted.
With only this condition of course
You have to improve on the blank page.

And so i do,

but i have seen enough fabrics ruined,
to have confidence in whether, or not, what i have done might be valued by others.

Meantime i continue to hope phd examiners do not see my writing as ruination, or that the blank page might have been better.

Informed by actor-network it is not just the words of text that might are matters of concern, each word is itself an amalgamation of processes that got it to this space. The text itself having come from a meaning associated with textiles, of printing and cloth. Then each word required some semblance of a stable meaning, a shared projection from those who read for it to carry a message. That a message sits on ink or cloth, on stone or papyrus or vellum; all bring difference to the message, as does a digital message.
In every rendition the meaning is the message as McLuhan claimed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Staying sane in insane spaces; waiting for a phd to be marked

I'm beginning to suffer post phd submission blues.

Having had serial anticlimatic events involving the submission of the penultimate draft, then the the resubmissions of the same. Then finally the point at which I actually meet a deadline to submit the thesis to be marked, I now have the anxiety associated with it being marked and possibly being found wanting. This is not a hold your breath moment.

The amount of energy i am used to pushing into writing every day comes to a stand still.
I know i should be turning this into academic articles but my academic voice has deserted me.

In the what happens in HDR examination flow charts, is an indication of 6 weeks with external examiners and a round process of approximately 10 weeks.
Meantime, the FAQ section regarding the examination process at my learning institution it tells me that:
the average examination takes between 4 and 5 months (from the time you submit the examination copy of the thesis until you are advised about the final outcome). Please be aware that your examination may take longer than this.
While the University does its best to minimize the length of examinations, the process is not entirely within our control.
Not all examiners start the examination at the same time, and not all complete it at the same time.

They go on to outline reasons for lengthy examinations:

Examiners not nominated at time of submission
Examiners are tardy
Time of year of submission
Examiners travelling or being unwell.
Thesis exceeds word limit (50,000 words for masters; 100,000 for doctoral)
Thesis of poor quality

And having been in contact with the HDR office, i have been told it's a timing, travelling, and illness concern.
I still cant help but assume they did not find it a bodice ripping, never to be put down type of read.
So I'm a bit disappointed.

Today is day 124, and I am still checking my emails with this semi fear of actually having a message their that i both would and would not want to open.
I wonder if they have thought this through.
Maybe a phone call, maybe checking out if you have others around... wonder what the protocol is when the news isnt good?

Meantime i have immersed myself in hobbies, reminiscent of occupational therapy, I've made a quilt...a block a day

And still wondering what to do with myself, today i made a paper crane out of the first page of chapter 6

Unable to write to disseminate my findings, i find myself wishing the pretties might still fly.