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The Rambler :: blog

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Resolutions 

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On Tuesday I had to give a presentation and viva on my research so far so that I could be upgraded from MPhil to full PhD-candidate status. This felt like a pretty big deal. For one thing, it was the first assessment I've had since finishing my Masters more than 5 years ago - I had to remember to look up things like my candidate number and what have you. It also forced me to get 2 chapters-worth of material into a presentable state, along with a bibliography (currently running at 300+ items...!) and a literature review. And, if I failed, it was a pretty sorry indictment on 2 years and £4,800 investment.

So fortunately I passed, which means that now I am officially a PhD candidate. Woo-hoo! The nicest thing is the sense of validation that goes along with this. Halfway through my projected schedule, and two people other than my tutor think what I'm doing has some sort of merit. I'm still surprised by how good that feels. Two and half years more of the same, and I really could be Dr Rutherford-Johnson.

What all this means in a more general sense is that what with the work and the stress of getting all my stuff together for Tuesday, my New Year feels like it's only beginning now. Last year's resolutions were pretty successful actually, and (more or less) I think I kept to them all, sporadically. This year, I will be trying to do the following:

1. The usual more books, more music, more films thang. Must get out of the lazy, vaguely Hollywood film rut;
2. Really get somewhere with learning Polish. I've been taking classes for almost two years now, and very little of the vocabulary is sticking; must work harder at this;
3. Be kinder to the planet;
4. Sort out my finances;
5. Clear out all the junk I no longer need or want.

I'm thinking 1 + 2 = Kieslowski DVDs with the subtitles turned off; and 4 + 5 = Ebay!


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