Thursday, 1 October 2015


Rabbits and hares and white rabbits.

It's October, and a lovely autumn day here. I'm sitting in my office at work looking out of the window and there's a lovely sunshine out there right now. The leaves on the walk home are also a fabulous colour which really cheers me up.

Academically I'm in limbo stage, but still a student. As I understand it, here is how things go from here. Bear in mind this is for the MA by Research NOT the PhD.

  • Submit hard copy (with all the forms) - DONE
  • Hard copies are sent to my internal and external reviewers - probably going to be sent next week, I was told.
  • Both reviewers have about 8 weeks to turn around their feedback.
  • I receive the feedback and have one of about 5 results
    • Pass with no amendments
    • Minor amendments (e.g. typos, small changes to specific areas)
    • Major amendments (e.g. rewrite sections, add in X element)
    • Revise and resubmit (End to end revision and resubmission as a semi-new thesis)
    • Fail
  • I respond to the result, and act accordingly.
    • Pass (unlikely)
    • Minor - edit, resubmit within 3 months, sent back to internal examiner to accept
    • Major - edit, resubmit within 6 months, sent back to external examiner to accept
    • Revise and resubmit - edit, resubmit within 1 year, restart review process
    • Fail - no PhD place
  • Viva is unlikely but a slim possibility, mostly if an examiner wishes clarification on an area covered OR you are borderline failing (do you know your stuff just can't write for toffee?!).
  • I start the PhD (unless FAIL), 1st of the month after the thesis is accepted (HOPEFULLY January 2016).
So until at least November I can do nothing except wait, which is completely nerve-wracking.

Right now I've got student status for the year, but no fees to pay until accepted or not. Financially this is nice as it means we can save the money for other important stuff (#1, finish fixing the house!).

Despite this, I cannot just stop dead. Here's my plans for the next few months:

  • Make Christmas presents - sloe gin and maybe a flavoured vodka again.
  • Rewrite my paper for Borderlines into an article. The paper didn't feel like it 'worked' well, to me, so I really want to go back to it, pull it apart and fix it.
  • Create the database I'll need for the PhD research - I can't assume I'll fail miserably, so I'm just going to get on with it.
  • Start databasing some of the data for my PhD - it will need doing some time
  • Read for fun - novels and non-research nonfiction
  • Do some sewing - I have patterns for a dress, top and a skirt I want to make, and now I have the time. (Simplicity 3847, New Look 6808, Simplicity 3673)
  • Join an exercise class, or a dance class. Maybe belly dancing! Something to get me fit, but without boring me senseless, like I find I get in a gym.
  • Level all my Warcraft characters to 100. What, I never said I wasn't a geek!
If I fail? To be honest, I'm going to do the research anyway, but I'll have less support etc. I am doing this for the pleasure, not as a career move, so why on earth would I stop doing something I already enjoy?

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