Signs of the time

by Anna Blanch on September 23, 2011

I made it into the office this week consistently for the first time in couple of months. I may actually have almost turned a corner on the weird fatigue thing! But let’s not get overexcited. I thought I’d share something sort of work related. Or at least one of the ‘ways in which i work things.’

I’m a very word -oriented and visual person. I’ve always been one to have little notes and pictures about my work space. At the moment, I have these notes stuck on the bottom of my monitor.

I needed to read these today.

I remembered why these are what have collected here over the last couple of years.

Can you believe that this week begins my third year in the PhD program (and hopefully my final year)?

I can’t quite.

You can’t really read the notes in that photo (taken with my trusty smartphone) so here there are up close.

So What?

This one actually dates back to my honours year. It was the question my advisor, Prof. Iain Wright used to ask of my drafts to challenge me to explain my original contribution and the importance of my argument. The index card has held up well across three continents and three major projects.

 Step Back

 This one is a reminder to keep the big picture in perspective even when i’m in the midst of lots of details. It’s also a reminder to pace myself – this is a marathon!

It is NOT that Simple



This is a…


this is NOT Punishment

This is a…


Because it is….a gift. A time, an an opportunity very few have. I am fortunate indeed.

Do you have any signs or quotes that have stuck with you throughout a number of projects or jobs?

Probably the most pressing one for me at the moment is the one stuck to the top of the monitor:

In the dissertation process, talk is cheap.
You’re either on target to finish, or your not.
As Yoda said, “Do or do not do. there is no try.”

 And that my friends is where things are really at!

Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St Andrews, Scotland

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  • Amy Nabors

    Oh yes. The last one. Love Yoda quotes.

  • Beccabumps

    I am so going to steal all of these!

    [makes a mad dash to the door, cackling wickedly]

    I may have posted this already but being lazy and not up yet I ended up wrestling with a three year old stealing the covers and declaring “I’m in charge”. I forgot whether I hit send or not.

  • Rob

    A guy that was mentoring me used to say… you never know unless you give it a go… I still use that one.

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