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Learning from Jill’s PhD journey

Jill Walker has made a final step in her PhD journey. Over last couple of month I was reading her weblog regularly and observed anxieties and fun of finishing a PhD. Today, reading about her defence, I realised what this reading is doing to me: it makes the perspective of finishing my own PhD research closer and easier to grasp.

Now it’s not an “I know there will be an end of it, but it’s too far away” journey anymore, now I can better imagine the details of what I want it to be, what I hope to feel at the end and why it’s important to me at a personal level. Now I know better that all the pain and hard work will dissolve giving space to feeling happy of accomplishment and joy of having people you care about to share it with you. To the certain degree I always knew it, but observing how these feelings develop in front of me makes it more real, motivating me to work hard now.

I wonder if/how apprenticeship relations work with weblogs, and I hope to do some research on it, but at the personal level I don’t need to be convinced: it works for me.

And, to turn to something else, a small bit from Jill’s defence story:

The dinner may be stressful to prepare on top of preparing the defence itself and the trial lecture, but in retrospect I realise that it, along with the lunch with the professors, is crucial: social networking is absolutely necessary in academia and it’s a skill that’s not often formally recognised as part of the job. Often seeds of important ideas and collaborations are sown in these less formal settings, and getting to know one’s colleagues socially allows much more fruitful collaboration later.

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2003/11/30.html#a854; comments are here.

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