And so on the milestone birthday of the significant other my one year anniversary clocks over. If there ever was a reason to reflect, then clearly this is it….
So in the last year, my first PhD year, i can place ticks in the checkboxes which demonstrates my required progress. Stage 2, tick, literature review, tick, manuscript for publication, tick, conference presentation, tick, confirmation document, tick, confirmation presentation, tick. What a good student.
But the list of awakenings and achievements that aren’t on the checkbox form is longer, and arguably more significant.
The lightness of not being responsible for anybody else but your selfish self….no staff to manage, no endless committees to report the same information over and over again so they can populate their agenda. The sheer relief of not driving three hours a day just to get to work and back.
The surprising offers of bit and pieces of work that come past. Knowing that life as a student (with a mortgage and three dependants) is not financially comfortable, colleagues seem to nominate me as the go to person to pick up stuff that any full timer doesn’t want to commit to.
The power to direct the work so it can be applied in the real world. The knowledge of a late in life student had of real world politics allow me to understand more precisely what is useful, meaningful and applicable in the real world.
The acceptance that sometimes what is called the real world, is in fact, just the fake world. The real real world is actually much more fun and interesting.
Understanding how much i don’t know, but importantly appreciating what it would require for me to know.
The networking with some very clever people, and the impressiveness of youth and thinking big.
There are many others, and as my Thesis Whisperer points out, I should be embracing all these things more, but for the pressures of ticking boxes…
my home office on a lovely sunny morning