The (non)idylls of February from the cushy armchair of March

by Anna Blanch on March 2, 2010

February was a crazy month! I travelled all over the country-side and libraries reading and researching the life and works of E.Nesbit. I’ve been buried in reading theory, and compiling posts about Things we wished we knew when we started Graduate School

February saw more comments and dialogue and about that I am pleased. I’d like Goannatree to be a place where a conversation, a dialogue, takes place. Welcome to those who are new to the conversation – join in, we’d love to hear what you think.  February suprisingly yielded the highest number of visitors ever and I am excited by the increased dialogue and community! This is exciting, especially because I feel even more justified in taking January off to recharge and to focus on family visits and research!


My thesis half marathon ended this afternoon and it highlighted again how easy it is to fall into the trap of feeling like it’s never enough! (I need to listen to my own advice). This was my list from 10 days ago:

  • Write abstracts for 3 different conferences
  • Write application for Travel Grant and send to supervisors (Information collected, due end of March)
  • Write 10,000-12,000 word chapter draft and send to supervisors (Outline Done, 20% written)
  • Edit 700 source classified bibliography
  • Edit Paper on Nesbit and Law for English Departmental Forum


Not bad…but I still feel like I could have done better and more. I’ve been a hermit and I still have these expectations of myself! Time for a reassessment of priorities…and a refocusing on the highest priorities! The good part of all the tasks from the last week is that they were in some way interrelated and so allowed me to be thinking through the chapter as I looked through bibliographical sources, thought about conference papers in relation to chapters that I’ll be writing between now and then, and as I edited a paper I first wrote 18 months ago. I don’t know how often Goannatree will turn into my own personal PhD Forum but I thought it was best to follow up the post where I considered What Climbing Mountains and Running Marathons Have to Do with PhD Research.


On a different note, I’ve decided that living in St Andrews is worthy of hazardous duties pay – snow, snow, ice, horizontal rain, sleet and plenty of versions of the sea haar rolling in from the north sea. Today the sun shined! On days like that, you rejoice.


By the end of this month i’ll be in Australia! If nothing else, I can’t claim that my life is boring!

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