I think I need to go back to filling out my black board with the week’s achievements. Time is moving so fast that I can barely keep up. Telling one week’s activites from the next is quite a struggle. It seems like it was only last week that I went to see Mona Eltahawy, which my friend wrote a brilliant review for, but in reality, it was almost a month ago. This week I went to see the brilliant Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk. She was wonderfully eloquent and down to earth – the interview was hosted by an ornithologist, which meant that it was a rather bird-y evening, but she managed to bring it back to the book fairly regularly.
I’ve also been working on my chapter, which I think is vaguely starting to take shape. I feel like I’ve been working on it since I started the PhD. It’s the only chapter that I’ve known from the beginning would exist. I’ve found that in the last year I seem to have moved from being fairly good at close reading and picking apart texts, to being really theory heavy. It’s been a bit of a struggle to get back to the text, unravelling the meaning and then reading it using a trans theoretical stand point. I think I might be getting there though. Maybe. I’m sure I will have changed my mind by this evening.
I’ve been working on a book that I used in my Masters dissertation and I’m finding it interesting how different my reading is now. Well, not necessarily different, but certainly more complex. I haven’t really had a yardstick with which to measure my intellectual progress until now. It’s easy enough to say, well I’ve written this many words and this conference paper – that’s just target setting and achievement. But seeing how your thinking has actually developed is much harder to judge, and I think ultimately more satisfying. Of course, when I hand the chapter in I might get a short, sharp reality check, but we’ll see.
The chapter is due in at the end of the month, ready for a discussion a couple of weeks later with both of my supervisors. I then need to move immediately onto the next chapter, which I haven’t even vaguely started thinking about yet. I keep on finding myself so grateful that I took the time to colour code all of my notes according to chapter. It means I can just flick through both of my folders and find the most pertinent information.
This week I’ve also been teaching, organising abstracts for a collection I’m editing with some other academics, and writing a short story to submit to Severine Lit. I also wasted a day getting a new tattoo, which is excellent (but is currently very bruised).
This week I’m marking essays and trying to finish the chapter. I’m also speaking to some people thinking about doing a PhD for our careers service. No idea what I’m going to say yet…