For the last 6 years a big part of my life has been governed by timetables so it was strange this morning to sit waiting for the City Cat to take me to uni and listen to two students discuss which week they were in and how many assignments they had due etc. I hadn?t even realised it was week 5 or 6 or whatever it is as my own schedule is so divorced from the mainstream academic calendar.
I have regular (usually every two weeks) meetings with my primary supervisor and less regular meetings with my secondary supervisor and there are fortnightly postgraduate seminars run by the school but apart from that it is up to me to develop and maintain my own schedule and routine. The first school seminar for this year was held last week and was followed by lunch and drinks at the nearby rooftop Terrace Bar in the School of Business. A bit hard to take but I?m sure that I could get used to it.
This week is ?Graduate Student Week? on campus and there are seminars and workshops being run non-stop for our benefit. This morning I attended a workshop on ?Writing a Literature Review?, (an essential component of any thesis) and yesterday went to another on ?Writing a Thesis?. Both have been invaluable in terms of discovering different ways of approaching these tasks and both were very well attended. In fact many of the workshops in which I tried to book were already fully subscribed which gives an indication of how many postgraduate students there are on this campus and it what high esteem these workshops, which are run by the Learning Assistance Unit, are held.
Getting myself into some sort of regular routine has been difficult, if not downright impossible given the nature of our lives right now. No doubt though, when we are settled into our new house and have our home office properly set up I will be able to get back into full time researching. Not that I have been idle mind you, I already have journal articles and books piling up around my computer as I type, it?s just that my mind and my thinking are still too fragmented to begin to organise and process things in an orderly fashion, but that will come.
I am more than impressed with the research ethos that exists within Qld University and with the amount of consideration that I am being shown. From my supervisors through to other academic staff and the admin staff everybody is happy and willing to spend time and help sort out issues. I think I?m going to like it here!