It's my favourite time of year again: Back to School! The weather's getting slightly cooler, some of the trees in Hyde Park are starting to change, and all of the shops are pushing art supplies and dorm cooking sets. I love the excitement of a new school year. Being in the office throughout the whole month of August hasn't taken away from the excitement--I'm really looking forward to starting my new routine. I'm teaching seminars for an intro to communications research class that every ICS freshman takes (205 students!), and there should be weekly research seminars starting up again soon, too. The Phil Taylor conference plans are coming along, and then there's also the issue of my actual PhD research (upgrade date is 10 days away!).
Maybe it's just the reflective mood of another September, but I'm really starting to see it all coming together. The other day I wrote out a month-by-month summary of my PhD research and drew a little chart showing how my thoughts on the whole project had changed over time. It's nice to see my thoughts becoming more & more mature and critical (although I worry I'm becoming too much of a realist sometimes...), and to see where my project might be going next. My goals for the first year were basically 1) Pass the upgrade and 2) Get teaching experience, if possible. (and it was!) My goals for the second year might be harder to articulate...
1) Do my fieldwork (details tbd...)
2) More work experience--TA first term, plus the placement office job
3) Present at a conference (again, details tbd...)
4) Get something published, if possible?
At any rate, I'm feeling all motivated for the new school year and embracing the process. The PhD life is pretty sweet...