So... I have been on the PhD journey for a 11 weeks. As usual this seems like a random time to be writing about the passing of time but I thought since my 5 Week Update was also random, I figured I'd lean into it. Structure is important but the ability of being dynamic within the restrictions imposed is an important skill. Let's get right into it.
There have been a few ups and downs primarily around some motivational and energy level standpoints due to illness. Managing my PhD plus the various RA commitments have taken on has been straightforward though when I am low on energy (or ill) it is certainly easier to concentrate on other people's work as opposed to my own. Not sure why that is but there you go. Something I definitely have to keep in mind when taking on extra work. Over the past few weeks I have regained my mojo which is extremely welcome. The most important thing I learned through that period was regardless of whatever was happening around you, just do something. However small or insignificant. This gave me a distinct sense of forward momentum (however small) and kept me going. I, of course, wasn't quite as productive as usual but I think it's important to recognise they'll be times when you aren't at your best and then you really just need to knuckle down and keep going.
I am having some issues surrounding the lack of specific information on my topic but conversely I am being inundated with information. It's a paradox that I find interesting and something that I have been trying to wedge myself through. It is looking likely I will have to borrow from multiple theoretical foundations to help piece together the whole. This brings its own issues but I am hopeful that this path will lead to a positive destination.
I have completed numerous administrative, bureaucratic seminars, and talks on various topics. Some good, some bad and some just horribly useless. I can see the point of all of them, though some of them are clearly aimed at English-as-a-second language students or those that haven't been in the University system in a while. All important but some more important to other students. Some of the more practical ones are more useful for me personally. The University does have a support system (it could be better) in place for post-graduate research students and it is good to see many students taking up the workshops to help them. Some of my workshops for the GCREDI course were networking and background-theory related. My networking skills are certainly one of those areas I and my supervisors felt needed work. I am generally a bit of an introvert and so putting myself out there. so to speak, has always been on the harder side. It is certainly an ongoing piece of work but I am looking forward to the challenge.
I have my quarterly presentation coming up with my supervisors and I am looking forward to the feedback they will give, the good, bad and ugly. Jenna and Garth are my primary supervisors with Professor O'Neill being a bit of an unknown. Not quite sure what he wants or likes and so it is definitely stretching me out of my comfort zone (not a bad thing but still slightly uncomfortable).
Thanks for reading and to the next update in who knows how long :-)