Thursday, 10 March 2016

February Round-Up - Marching on

February is a short month. This year it started as another one of nothing much going on, but almost as the month ended that lethargy was followed by sudden urgent movement.

At the start of February I still had no idea what was happening with my MA thesis and was planning to discuss it with my supervisor “soon”. After many weeks of drifting aimlessly, I pulled myself together and submitted abstracts for two conferences – Borderlines in Dublin and the EMREM Symposium in Birmingham. To my surprise and pleasure I have since been notified that I’ve been accepted to do both papers.

On 25th & 26th I was at Quadrivium, which was being held in Leicester this year. I’ll try to remember to do a write-up of that separately as it was another good year IMO. As hoped, my supervisor was at Quad, so we had a brief chat and she STRONGLY encouraged me to contact the department on the Monday to chase my thesis progress. Back home on the Saturday, however, that plan was hastily dropped as I was met by a letter inviting me for a viva on either 17th or 22nd March. So the last three days of February have been panic stations trying to organise myself and my brain back to September, when I submitted the thesis.

Currently I’m still waiting on official confirmation that I’m being 'done' on the 22nd (couldn’t get the 17th off work due to meetings), but all being well that’s what should be happening. Plan now is:
  • Go up to UniCity the night before and crash in a Youth Hostel near the station overnight
  • Head into campus in the morning.
  • Viva is "make myself available from 12 noon"
  • Attend lecture that evening on campus (nice coincidence) – assuming I’m not a complete wreck!
  • Head to TGO to spend Easter there (*happy dance*, have arranged 3 days working from home and been asked to attend a meeting at a site not far from TGO's residence so perfect timing)
  • ~ Easter ~
    • House clearing and tidying so we get a bit closer to selling and then living together permanently again
  • Head back Weds after Easter
Once the viva is gone, I will be able to focus on any corrections (I’ve already found some I want to do!), and then the papers for Dublin and Birmingham. Despite all the stress of preparing for an upcoming viva, I can honestly say I’m glad because I can once again see forward. However terrifying the viva is in my head, and may be in practice, I have something I can work towards, which is so much better than sitting on my hands waiting and worrying...

A side benefit is that it has prodded me to chase down the letter with my official ASD diagnosis on it, to provide to my examiners.

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