Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My PhD Journey - Musing #2 - Birdbath Joy!

Of course it was predicted what would happen - I start blogging one early Tuesday morning about my PhD and vow to do this every Tuesday morning......and now it is Tuesday, but later in the afternoon and I almost forgot! Anyway I am here now, and this is my second PhD musing, ever.

The PhD journey has very little joy in it....so it seems right now....it is hard work; deliberate, meticulous, academic work. Therefore, as the struggle continues I try to find little things in life to distract me for brief periods each day....well of course I am working full time, so that is one of my major distractions....but on either side of the 'real' job, anything that can lighten the mood some days is embraced.

One of my real joys is our front garden birdbath. We put this in, a simple yet efficient concrete mould from a local supplier, about 3 years ago. Living right on the coast, 400 steps from the Pacific Ocean, we seem to have quite a variety of birds visiting - some come and go depending on the season. My favourites are the Willy Wagtail and the Butcher bird as well as the Blue-faced honey eater - a bright splash of blue on the head, with lovely olive green wings, as shown in the picture below (although grainy). Our birds love our bird bath - they congregate there in the mornings, in the evenings, in pairs, in smaller groups, in mixed bird types...and they have such fun! They splash and swoop and ruffle feathers....we love them!I can watch them all day....well at least for the 10 minutes I might escape from my desk.

 Let me move away from birds and share some of my academic influences - whose words come straight into my inbox through subscription, and inspire me to keep moving forward.

1. Dr Tara Brabazon - Dean of Graduate Research at Flinders University, South Australia. Tara has a Vlog series on YouTube - and I have watched just about every one of the 73 episodes so far I think. Some of my favourites:
    1. Vlog #56 How to fail a PhD in 60 sec
    2. Vlog #67 Altmetrics
    3. Vlog #47 How to get unstuck and reconnect with your thesis 
 2. Dr Pat Thomson - Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK (buit she is originally from Australia!). Pat writes a blog 'Patter' - a prolific blog that is as much inspiring as much as it is prolific. I also had the privilege of attending a 'Thesis writing bootcamp' at USQ where Pat led us through some strategies - oh that could be another of my blog posts in the future! See Pat's post this week - 'Blogging research projects'

3. Dr Inger Mewburn - of course! Another Australian, and Director of Research Training at the Australian National University who writes just as prolifically as Pat on her blog - The Thesis Whisperer. This post from just last week, Why you should blog during your PhD, is relevant to my situation - and maybe this was the catalyst (the straw re camel?) that finally prompted me to be sharing via this blog.

I wonder what those birds are up to now.......?

See you next Tuesday!

Julie Lindsay
Bird-watching PhD student

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