NanoMoWri Challenge: day 4

Life is indeed like a box of chocolate, you never know which one you are going to get. Today I had my chat with supervisors, it seems that the Dean does not want me in the program and will kick me out of uni.  Just know, when i got all in place and in the right frame of mind – good project, academic relevance, awesome supervisors and sometime to write – now I am not good enough for the uni.  My supervisors are doing what they can to keep me in the system, but it may not be enough.  I had to write a story about why i am so late, without blaming my supervisors. That’s hard because I think I am as guilty as they are in this late mess.

Also, surprise, surprise … I had a chat with my exsupervisor, the first encounter after our break-up, and all i can say is that sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. Today she was down, and I actually felt very sad for her.  She has worked so hard to get project work and funding, and now after the big announcement, they take away the grant money? Life is so unfair sometimes. I do wish the best for her, even though a few weeks ago I was heartbroken.  I hope she recovers and keeps going. Academic funding is sooo competitive and you can really trust anyone.  Hard to believe that Jen will do the dirt on her .. this people don’t have a sense of loyalty.  Also, I saw how the academics criticize and envy eachother … just like any other workplace. My work seems friendly compared to uni

At work we moved to the new building, what a building. Soo beautiful. I love it.  Only issue is that seating next to my boss.  Gee no much time for literature reading, let alone writing and printing.  The pic here is my new building.

Today, the only writing I did was putting together an explanation as to why i am so late with confirmation. The reasoning had to be academic, e.g. the research path i was undertaken would have left me to reach limited conclusions, so it was needed to change approach and methodology. I did write a bit on that, even though is not really for my thesis, but without that writing there would be no thesis.  williamst


#NanoWriMo Challenge: day 3

Failed in the writing text challenge, but for  my thesis I read  a heavy article, and it literally took me the whole day to finish reading it. No writing on the model today, but took plenty of notes for drafting the next section of my lit review. Basically the article was about intentions and behaviours, e.g. if you intend on doing something and there is a good chance of success and total control of the variables, then behaviour can be explained by the theory of reasoned action; but if full control is not there and you are not sure of the probabilities of success, then you need to use: theory of planned behaviuor.  To get there i read and reread pages with words like salient, volitional, subjective norms, etc. The authors present a few algebraic formulas to measure and forecast behavior … heavy, heavy.

Also, I spent time with boys and made up with husband. I even went to mass and spoke to my father back home.  Church was good, and after that we went to a pub, and had a nice family with a good cider. What a change from one day to the next in Mr Grumpy. Didn’t I say best thing when he’s moody is just to leave him alone in his own misery? Still very stressing when you are in it, and I have to be strong to just let him be and not try to get him back to happy land. He even ask for forgiveness for his grumpiness.  It must be God’s doing, because it is hard to Mr G to control himself.

Anyway, i spent an awesome day with boys, slept in the afternoon, did my stretches and read that difficult article.  Talking to my dad, made my day though. We are now planning for him to come and visit. He maybe sad after his wife left him, so sad that he is even asking for mum. Oh life …. full of surprises …

#NaNoWriMo Challenge: Day 2

I have just came across the NaNoWriMo fad and joined a FB club.  It seems that the the National Novel Writing Month is on November people are invited to write up a novel over the next 30 day days. You can join in by registering in their website Well, I will use the time to write up my dissertation. My goal is to complete the literature review by end of November.  In a month I will have completed Chapter 2 of my thesis. Chapter 2 will have at least 6,000 words. Well, if i don’t finish my damn dissertation, I could still become a writer and write a novel about procrastinating on your thesis!  If I am going to complete drafting 6,000 by 21 November, plus one week review / edit by 28 November, I need to write up 286 words per day. Doable most days, but there will be days that I may have to work overtime to compensate for days when no chance to write.

Today Mr Grumpy got even grumpy and even called me ‘cerota’, sounds terrible and it hurts.  It is bullying, bordering in verbal domestic violence.  The is so much tension at home when he’s in this nasty mood and it gets worse when i don’t pay much attention to it, he feels ‘abandoned’, what a cry baby.  Always this shit when I am busy doing my things and diverting my attention away from him, jealousy at its best. The good times seldom last long, but the bad times are easily forgotten.   That could be the title of my novel? No, too much attention wasted, better finish my dissertation.

Today I wrote a good section of my chapter reviewing a model.  Tonight I will read a few articles, so I can write up tomorrow the review of another tomorrow.  During the week, I could write up another model.  On Thursday i could present a copy to my supervisors, but not sure it will be good enough or should I give it another week?   That could well be just a draft, how many words should a literature review have?  I think after I finish the theoretical model, plus adoption of agriculture, plus digital technologies, plus horticulture, I will have more than 12,000, is that too little or too much? nanomonth

Writing challenge: day 1


Thanks to this blog I became aware of the “8-minute writing habit” book. I have been listening to the audio-book and got the point where I have to start the challenge. The author says ‘8 minute per 8 days’, but given how behind I am in my dissertation, I will adapt to ‘8 minutes (at least) for 30 days’. According to the author, if you follow the 8-minute a day rule, at the end of a year you should have a manuscript with 100,000 words, a thesis! What do I have to lose? I also got to know more about transcript from dictation, i think it maybe good for mum, to put something in paper, well in voice, as that may alleviate some of her anxieties.

Today we left our old building, and Monday into the new. Very trendy they say. My worried is that i won;t have that much freedom to search, print and write, worse when i am seating next to my boss in the pod. We’ll see.

Mr G is in a grumpy mood today, he gets this way from time to time. Like the PMS of older overweight man. That grumpiness last for a few days. While he’s in that mood, he doesn’t talk to me, doesn’t respond when asked, doesn’t interact with me at all. At the beginning it really used to bother me, and I tried to do things to make him happy. Now, I managed it a bit better, it still bothers me, but I don’t try to get him out of it … I just let him be and get out of his way. Sooner or later he will come back. Good thing that i know have children and thesis to worry about, so his moodiness is one of the very last things in my radar.

I had lunch with my very good friend ME, she gave me the good advice of changing university, to a more prestigious one, the best one in the State. See how my meeting with my supervisors goes. If it goes well I wont consider it, but if any problems i may star making inquiries about changing schools.

Tonight I am going to work on one theory, weekend I will finish the other. The plan is for Thursday, I’ll have something to present to supervisors: 5,000 words at least.

Procrastination challenge: day 31

Done. Made it to the month. Waking up early, using a journal, doing some yoga, writing, setting up goals. Is it too late now? My supervisor tells me the dean has not accepted my request for extension of confirmation. So, in other words I risk being kicked out of the program. Surprise, surprise, just when I was getting into my thesis work, I get this news. Terrible news, I am afraid… all that work and I only got a chair? We’ll at least it’s a nice one.
In other news, invites for Emilio’s birthday went out today. I got 6 boys coming now! Afraid though that after all that I will get 21 boys. So much money, almost $1,000!

Also, I am happy my mum could go to sleep last night. Worried because it was drug induced. But could I say, she is the one that can’t fall sleep.

Tomorrow at work we are moving to the Tower of Power! Worried that now I m going to be seating in a very open plan office, With my boss next to me. Lovely building though. The tallest and the very best in the city. I am lucky.

Procrastination challenge: day 30

After reading one of the blogs  on time management in wordpress I came across the book: “The 8-minute writing habit” by Monica Leonelle. As I knew I wouldn’t have time to sit down and read it I got in audio.  Great book with lots of small writing gems.  Well, as always consistency triumphs over everything else.  You only have to do 8 minutes every day, until you get in the habit and can become a writer.  The book is more for people who want to do writing as a profession, but for me over the next 3 years or so, writing will be my profession.  Anyway, after i finish this procrastination challenge, I will start the 8-minute thesis writing challenge.

In the meantime, life with all its drama is happening.  Birthday party for my little boy still undecided because the teacher forgot to give the invites out.  My pre-teen boy, is just a bit of a pain lately, moody and just got a C in math, a C?! Mum is feeling very sick, the dementia (finally, i wrote it), is slowly creeping up, main signs: anxiety and lack of sleep.  She is new medication now, but I can sense her sadness. She is a nurse and sadly knows what to expect. She can see now her deterioration.  She has been trying to hide it, i think that’s why she has refused to come and stay with us. She knows she is loosing it and is too embarrassed to tell people.  My mum, always such a proud and strong woman, she is becoming this fragile little old lady.  I am so sad for her. My heart breaks for her. Oh mum how much i love and wish i could help you.

As i said, drama gets in the way of a PhD. Work as chaotic as ever.  Maybe a should rename this blog?  “Dramatic PhD writing – mature student with young kid, teenager boy, crazy husband, dementia mother, chaotic workplace and so on”. Gee all those kids that only have to worry about going to uni and reading those damn papers with soon realise how easier they have it 🙂

Getting back to PhD.  I am almost finished one of the models, a few more hours to work on it.   On the weekend, I plan to try to do two more models. I must have something for my supervisors for next week, I am meeting them next Wednesday or Thursday.  Maybe Thursday will be a good day to meet.  Got to have at least 3,000 words to provide.  A bit worried that my confirmation date has not been accepted. Also worried that the Department won’t let me be in the project.  One thing at a time.


Procrastination challenge: day 29

Almost one month into this procrastination challenge!  Today was a good day: i changed Boy 2 birthday party date and had chat with supervisors.  Feeling much relieved now … if only work was going well … can’t have it all, i guess.

Good thing that supervisors gave me some feedback on my introduction document and it wasn’t too bad. A few spelling mistakes, some typos and a more updated references, besides that, all good. They were also interested in project and ways of profiling university. I was surprised that they didn’t want to antagonise my old supervisor, like i care, she dropped me! Still i must be sensitive, maybe i was worried about her, because i even had a dream last night and hold and behold, i met her today.

I am happy with my progress, re: introduction. From now on, i must focus on ‘Literature Review’, and the worst of all for me ‘theoretical framework’ … what a bore!  Ok i must do at least 5,000 words explaining the behavioural models. … . How do i get there?  There are five models, plus an analysis of how they are going to be adapted to agriculture.  800 words per model, plus 1,000 for integrating model to agriculture. Yes, I  could do that in four weeks. By end of November, I will have finished theoretical framework, in two weeks I will provide an update  to my supervisor. 5,000 words! Plus i have written about digital technologies and i will write about horticulture industry.  What a busy november.  Good that i got my Logan chair and my darling husband, did i say that my husband has been so incredible supportive for now? Incredible.

Procrastination challenge: day 28

Today I finished draft intro of my confirmation report. This is the second draft I present to my supervisors, hopefully this I time I get some feedback. About a year I did exactly the same exercise, but no feedback at all and it was very disappointing.

I am feeling a bit anxious, I had organised my little boys birthday party, and horror, horror two other kids have the party the same day!!! What am I going to do? My heart breaks for my darling boy.

Procrastination task for today: wrote the associations meeting notes, hurray! I have putting this off for a few weeks.

In three months I’ll be having confirmations … feeling a bit overwhelmed about it, but I think I should be ok. Only need a fortnigjt or so solid writing. I can see the problem is going to be getting supervisors feedback and understanding the feedback enough to include in revised drafts.  What should be my next goal? Finishing the lit review? I may need three weeks for that . We’ll see.

Procrastination challenge: day 26 and 27

This has been a very busy weekend, but I got a few things done.  Firstly, I bought my long-awaited chair, yes I got a recliner “logan” chair, beautiful! Second to use my chair I had to clean the office area, so I did it and now I am seating in my new PhD reading chair. Third, we went out to farewell my good friend P and the children had a chance to play the whole afternoon  with my friends grandchildren.  Today, sunday I took a good look at my introduction and just realised that it needs major rework, as it wouldn’t work with the new focus.  Nothing is ever easier.  I must thank my darling husband, as he’s taken the children to my mum’s so I can concentrate in my uni work. Thanks love.   Very busy this week, I must keep on working on my introduction.