Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Abstract accepted: Yay - Time to write paper: 2 weeks: aaaahhhhh

So at the end of January an email was sent to the usual CAS folks about the Africa Day Conference taking place on the 3rd of March at St Antony's Oxford. Now this isn't unusual as it's the 13th annual conference. What is unusual is that I in a moment of complete madness decided to send in an abstract.

I wrote what only can be described as 300 words of an off-the-cuff abstract which roughly relates to my PhD. Submitting it, I thought it would have limited chance to get accepted and therefore forgot about it. Today I got an email of congratulations - the abstract was accepted.

Oh no, now I actually have to write a paper, one that relates to the abstract, which is sort of linked to my PhD. Why didn't I just focus on something which relates to the chapter I've already written? Common Sense  - what's that again?

The good thing is the paper links to some of the issues that I came across during fieldwork.  - good excuse to write up the interview transcripts (not that these have been sitting in a file in my desk or anything).  I suppose it will give me a reason to write and I think I may just have to try out the "WRITE OR DIE"  software which Louisa who I work for was talking about a few weeks ago in the PhD workshop for SPS).

I doubt it will improve the quality of my writing, although it may increase the quantity somewhat. There is (conveniently) the CAS PhD retreat/away weekend at the end of February, which I will be required to present at (guess what I'll be talking about). It should hopefully also give me a chance to hide in a corner away from all walking/hiking/sports based activities to finish off the article.

...powerpoints and actual presentation will of course be written en route to the conference....

Monday, 6 February 2012

Making time for other things....

So I'm always busy, I've always got 101 things on the go and I'm always open to take on another challenge - whether that is convincing the dog not to raid the bin or taking on another job. I've been working for the Institute of Academic Developments for a few weeks, it's week 4 of the academic year and I'm balancing tutoring two different courses with trying to work on my PhD. 

I knew at the time that I was taking on a lot (nothing new there) and I was going to be busy. I was made to promise that I would take a day off a week - so the designated day is Sunday. I realised on Sunday though that I was so tired by Sunday evening that I actually dreaded the thought of having to go out to go to church - something which I normally look forward too.  I've not been around St Albert's for a few weeks (a combination of illness and being away from Edinburgh), which was highlighted by one of the chaplains saying they thought I'd disappeared or something similar.

It got me to thinking about how much time I spend doing things not related to my PhD, work, tutoring, Guides and choir. Discounting playing whichever games console is now in the flat (shows how little I play), watching TV and generally falling asleep on the couch, I don't do very much that's not in the above list - I just don't have time! I could probably make time to fit in another social activity that involves me going out, but the thought of it makes me want to curl up and read the book that I've been meaning to start since Christmas Day.

So maybe I should be making time for other things? Well maybe if there was another day in the week I would, but until then, I will generally be found in an office somewhere, working on something or other...