Getting off the escalator

I’m currently in the middle of comps, or comprehensive exams, for my PhD.  I’m supposed to write three papers, each of 5-7000 words.  One on ‘curriculum’, one on ‘methodology’, and one on ‘theory’.  I’ve been working on them since September and I’ve now reached the point where I’m completely done with them.  Figuratively, not literally.  It’s pissing me off.  If I’d been slacking off, I could totally understand why I’ve not got them done yet.  But I’ve been working stupidly hard on them, at my desk from 9-5 every day.  Well, days that I’m not sick, taking care of a sick kid, dealing with mom being in and out of hospital, buying and selling a house, talking to doctors, teaching, conferencing, marking… I try to squeeze some work in after (eventually) getting J to bed, but most nights I’m so exhausted the only reading I can manage before falling asleep is 20 minutes of a trashy novel.  And they’re just not getting done. Continue reading

My thoughts on imposters

The lovely @rjhogue wrote a blog post yesterday that’s incited a bit of discussion amongst the #mri13 attendees.  She shares her reflections on feeling a bit like an imposter at the conference.  If you’ve not read her post please do, as she  contextualises what she means very well, but what’s been picked up by others is the phrase “I did not leave the conference feeling that I was part of the community.”   I agree with her, to an extent.   Continue reading

Why I dislike the idea of a ‘professional identity’

There’s a lot of attention given to the idea of using social media to ‘craft a professional identity’.  People suggest either tempering one’s writing or creating separate blogs/Twitter/FB accounts for  professional and personal lives.  I don’t agree.  Such ideas are a part of the intertwined concerns over privacy and identity that have accompanied the growth of the internet.  And I see them as anachronistic, not entirely in a negative way, but as something left over from a time where not sharing yourself publicly was both possible and, due to restricted communication technology, necessary for most people. Continue reading