Oh, what a month! I look at my journal and find that I have made very few entries- disappointing as it reflects that I was too busy to even “stop to think”… …though was constantly immersed at the same time (supervisors- I reassure you that was the case!); and also disappointing in that it is now difficult to write a monthly review for July.
I was fortunate enough to be able to block out a chunk of leave. What started out as 4 weeks of July to do PhD (sounds great, right…)- I spent the first week and a half in work attending to leadership role duties; to then flick the switch to be able to focus on writing up some of the sections of my proposal. It was good to be able to tune out the email, the children, the sports (i.e. life) and concentrate on getting ideas to “paper”, and to chunk together ideas that had been brewing- seeing the connections more clearing; and being able to filter out irrelevant themes as was more consciously in tune with the material to make these decisions.
While an honour to be considered, it was also in the month of July that I was nominated for Teacher’s Excellence Award for the Faculty. This meant, in a relatively short timeframe (i.e. two weeks before the deadline and during “leave”), I needed to prepare a portfolio to support the application. Fortunately I did have my recent CMALT certification portfolio to draw on which provided some reflective pieces and in a team that are supportive of this and readily provided some additional supportive evidence. “Why did you agree to doing this when you were suppose to be working on your PhD?” I hear you say. Well, I have quickly learnt that the research question I have chosen puts me in limbo between being a health professional and being an educator, and while if the research was more polarised towards either of these there would be associated research funding; being “somewhere in between” does not provide a strong case for funding. So, applying for these sorts of awards are a way to bring in some funding that could assist with transcription, developer consultation, etc. I will hear in the next month the outcome of “Stage 1” of the Awards process.
When I do look at the few entries for July, I realise my naivety in timeframes. Yes- I could have pieced together a section on social constructivism in one day, though as it is interlinked with the other pieces of theoretical framework, it continued to evolve (and switch between “social constructivism” to “constructivism” and back…). I know that I was in a dark place with my study, pretty much a week after a combined supervision meeting. I see statements such as “hit a wall”, “a mess”, “feel like I’m swimming”, “overwhelmed”, “feels dark, cold and isolated”. I am pleased to say that I am not in that mindset at the moment. I have managed to finish the Teacher Nomination and focus on the big teaching week ahead in August (which includes a virtual environment that sparked the idea of doing a PhD in this area).
So, here’s to a better month in August. I am slightly off track in terms of timeframe, though do not feel like I am swimming in the plethora of work that is PhD.