The final countdown

Don’t expect to hear from me for a while… my submission deadline is the 28th of June and I am panicking.  So much work left to do!

But, with luck (or hard work), I will be done with this thesis by the end of June.

It also means I will be spending every spare moment I have working on it.  Right now my mom’s suggestion of just having a baby and going on the benefit seems really appealing… though I think I can make out a light at the end of the tunnel.

Until July…


I just crossed the 70,000 word threshold on my thesis!!


As you may or may not be aware the maximum length for any thesis at Victoria University of Wellington is 100,000 words.  That’s a limit, not a target.  I don’t want to jinx myself by being too confident, but i feel really good about the progress I have been making lately.

The end is nigh!

My submission deadline is 30 June 2013.

Then I guess I have to find a job or something.

Actually my plan is to stick around NZ a while, I have to wait for somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks for my oral defence, and then I will probably have to do some revisions (hopefully not too extensive) before finally resubmitting and then another few weeks/months before I get my final results.  It’s a very drawn-out, anti-climatic process, and I intend to celebrate at every step along the way!  That’s an opportunity for at least 4 separate parties as I see it-

  1. Submission
  2. Successful defence
  3. Final results
  4. University graduation ceremony (probably next May, unless I can get in it under the wire for this December)

Apparently I am not officially a PhD until my thesis is bound and the university library has a copy.  Realistically that probably won’t be before December of this year.  In the mean time, once I submit, I can find some full time work (maybe doing research, teaching, or library stuff?), try to get a few papers published, and apply for academic jobs starting the following August.  Unfortunately, I won’t be done in time to be seriously considered for academic postings starting this August/September, but in a way I don’t think I’ll be ready to pick up and leave Wellington in 6 months.  I still have a massive stash of fabric that I have not had any time to make anything with in ages!

Also I just got my bike rebuilt.  I have 5 more gears now, and I’m looking forward to breaking them on the hills around Wellington!


Getting into the groove of the PhD thang

So, 3 months in, I feel like I am finally getting the hang of this PhD thing.  I may be totally premature in writing this, and go through another depressive, unmotivated, “What am I doing?”, “Am I really smart enough?” phase, but today, I feel good.

I met with my supervisor today, who literally gave my glowing compliments.  He said my writing was “excellent”, and “very convincing”, and that I did a great job of really “critically analyzing” the literature.  I am also working with him, and another professor, on a different research project.  We met today as well, and the other professor also said that I was “an excellent writer” based on the literature review I had done for them.

I’m enjoying the PhD lifestyle so far.  I love walking around the School of Information Management, with my cardigan and pencil skirt, hearing my high heels clicking against the floor, feeling self-important as I walk back and forth from the printer room or staff kitchen to my office, and exchange pleasantries with old men with beards and bow ties.  I can waltz in a 3:00 pm, and hang out until 8:00 listening to Thee 6 Mafia in my office, where I have at least 7 different kinds of tea in my desk drawer.  In fact, yesterday evening, I did just that, and I even drank an Emerson’s Weiss Ale while I attempted to write up a methodology section for a research project I have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of!

The sun is finally shining for the first time in days/weeks/it feels like years.  I am going to get some fresh air, though I will definitely spend more time today with LISA & ERIC, my only friends in this city.  Who needs friends when you have databases?

autumnal fun with the future dr. nicole

I have gotten my official acceptance letter into the PhD program at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand’s School of Information Management program.  They want me to start March 1st!

I’m still working out the funding and scholarship details, but for the time being, I don’t know how things will an out in the future.  If I am offered the job I interviewed for in Nebraska, if I get the scholarship, if my sweetie wants me to stay in Montreal… it’s all very complicated and confusing right now.  But, at least I have something to look forward to now, rather than feeling like an unemployed, useless sack of skin like I have for the past few months.

This weekend was full of autumnal fun, including apple picking, a hay ride, and a drive through the Eastern Townships with my old pal from Vientiane, Isabelle.

quinn farm on ile perrot
quinn farm on ile perrot
izzy and the apples we picked!
izzy and the apples we picked!

We attempted to re-create the Sticky Finger’s Tom Yam Martini, which I have to say, for my first try, based only on having drunk several liters of them in my day, I think my recreation was pretty spot-on!

moi at iza a granby
moi at iza a granby

There’s an apple pie I must attend to now, but I’ll write more soon!