Last Christmas we were part way through one of our PhD modules, and much of Christmas was spent working on the research paper for module three. It was really beneficial having (nearly) whole days to concentrate on my studies, rather than trying to fit it in to the usual melee that is my usual life.
This year there was no such opportunity. The final version of our module five papers was due in just before Christmas, and we get feedback in the new year. So for a couple of weeks at least I have been study-less. Whilst I’ve received some suggestions from one of the programme tutors on areas that I could concentrate my reading on in the break, in reality I’ve used this time to catch up reading some of my existing library, that I have only dipped into for the relevant quotation or piece of research over the last couple of years.
One book that I am ‘enjoying’ (if reading academic literature can be enjoyable) is The Digital Scholar by former Open University lecturer Martin Weller, who had a big hand in writing the first course that I tutored on twelve years ago. There are some controversial statements in the book, in particular about the true research skills of the ‘Google Generation’, but nonetheless it’s a very interesting read, and I’ll look forward to completing it.
But I have also hit Amazon pretty hard since Christmas, and amongst more ‘frivolous’ items have bought and , the first for my area of research, the other a more general book on how to carry out PhD research and a ‘core reading’ for the writing of my confirmation document, the next step of my journey.
As is customary, if a little premature, I wish you all a peaceful 2012. The economic prospects for the country as a whole seem pretty grim, I guess the best we can do is encapsulated in these two mugs that I received last Christmas.