At the early part of this week I packed my bags and headed Northwards again to Lancaster. This was a cross-cohort conference, open to all of us who are in the middle of, or are about to embark on the thesis part of our PhD.
A dozen of us made it face-to-face, with a few people drifting in and out online via the Adobe Connect software. It was great to catch up, share success (and horror) stories, and also use some educational technology to talk to those that have been through the journey, and completed the PhD from our programme… something that hadn’t happened when we started on the journey.
My talk was about public blogging and private journals, when to use each. I was really time-constrained due to some late running sessions earlier in the day, and it was also strangely nerve-wracking presenting to my peers, and the course director who made a welcome, but unexpected appearance for our talks.
I also met my supervisor, and we had a good long chat about how the final year (well, 9 months) should pan out, and where I should focus. He’s keen to see my literature review, but has given me a few weeks to tidy up and in a fit state for reading. I think it reads OK, but then again doesn’t every author?
Of course, the social side of things is also important, but it’s probably a sign of our age that I was back at the Travelodge before 11:00 both nights. I have a love/hate relationship with the budget hotel chain. Their value for money cannot be equaled, and I quite like their simplistic, back-to-basics, shower gel costs extra approach. But that is usually after I’ve had a good nights sleep. I’m not sure what they use for sound insulation between the rooms, but at 4am I am inclined to think that it’s structural strength tissue paper.
All in, a good couple of days, not without the occasional hiccup, but if the opportunity comes up in subsequent years, well worth the effort.