Recognition and Data Entry...

The university's disability resource centre is working to get me a more time to complete my PhD. The liaison officer I met before I started this degree, the one who has been on extended leave (and was replaced by a bunch of toothless tigers) is BACK! This DLO is more of a can-do person. As far as I am concern ALL disability liaison officers should be can-do people. If you did a Google Search for Disability Liaison Officer and you came across this blog, then hear this, if you don't have a can-do attitude, if you aren't burning on the inside to ADVOCATE for people who are marginalised in society, then don't become a DLO because you'll just be letting people down.

So, anyway, the DLO working on my case now is actually doing her job, which is both refreshing and reassuring!

So, we're seeking either that I can go part time for the rest of my degree, but retain a work station which is usually only allocated to full time candidates. Alternatively, that due to the constraints of my low vision, I be afford an extra 12 months to complete my degree. Hopefully, one or the other solution will be found. The upshot being that I would only be half way through my degree right now, instead of two-thirds through.

I'll admit right now, I have not been working as hard as I needed to be. I plead ignorance. Ignorance that my sight would deteriorate this quickly. Ignorance of what research at a PhD level actually entails. If I could talk to the me who started this PhD two years ago, I'd tell her what's what. She needed to be at her desk a lot more. She needed to really get to grips with her contention a lot earlier. She needed to be much more methodical in everything she did...

She needed to organise her data!

This is something I'm playing catch up with now. It's not that I hadn't heard 'organise your data, keep a database of resources, bibliographies, work notes' before, I had, but somehow I felt I didn't have that much stuff that it needed formal organising.

When doing a PhD, don't live in the moment, live in the future... Plan!

Sources are like bunnies. At first they're just cute and small and innocuous, but those buggers BREED. You start with 10 sources, and then you suddenly have 100, and then 1000. I kid you not.

For my thesis I needed to start tagging my sources with common themes from the get-go, but I didn't. I thought tagging was only for interviews and I wasn't doing interviews. I was wrong. Tagging is extremely useful for people, like me, who read sources and retain a lot of what they read, except probably the most important bit of information; WHERE THEY READ IT!

With a good tagging set up (in excel or in a program like Nvivo), you can search a tag, and it will bring up all the sources where you read about that topic. You can even tag quotes so you can find them again without having to do what I've been doing for weeks now... Looking to every. single. document. for each tag.

It's the 6 Ps: Perfect Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance!

I'm still working on chapter one. Man I'm sick of chapter one.