The known and unforeseen benefits of critical writing groups

I’m doing my PhD through NUI but I’m based in Brooklyn, NY. A number of circumstances dictated my decision to do this and although I initially had reservations about it things have been running smoothly so far. Thankfully I’m pretty self-motivated and disciplined which means that I treat my PhD like a full-time job (with flex-time of course). I also have a fear of falling (side-ways, backwards, flat, whatever and wherever) which means that I take great care in being as organized and structured in my work as I can be.  Continue reading “The known and unforeseen benefits of critical writing groups”


PhD Blogger’s How-To: So You Want to Blog (Academic Edition)

So You Want to Blog (Academic Edition)

What a summer.

I wrote and I read and I wrote and read and I went to conferences. Four conferences in fact. And I wrote a new paper for each conference. Yeh, not the best idea I’ve had recently. Somewhere in between that reading and writing and conference going I also made time for my husband and daughter.  Continue reading “PhD Blogger’s How-To: So You Want to Blog (Academic Edition)”

Non-bodied and left to wonder? Maybe not.

I’ve never met my supervisor. We know what each other looks like because we’ve exchanged photos but our only communication has been through email or over Skype. You see, I live in New York City and she lives in Ireland. On our last Skype call she asked me how I felt about our (rather unconventional-my words) pairing. I was stumped but managed to say a few jumbled words. I’m not dissatisfied by any means. On the contrary, things have been quite smooth, maybe so smooth that the mere unconventionality of it has gone right over my head. The relationship between a Grad student and a supervisor is an important one so I decided to give her question some more thought.  Continue reading “Non-bodied and left to wonder? Maybe not.”

Seven months in and already with the highs and lows!

The roller coaster of emotions has already begun. Really? This has been a hard pill to swallow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that the PhD process is an intense one that can lead any one of us down a dark path from time to time. I just figured that this would happen a little bit further in (like when I’ve rightfully earned my self-pity). Truth be told, it’s the writing bit that sends shivers down my spine. Yes I know, writing is a big part of doing a PhD. This has not just occurred to me. When the writing happens and it’s good (in my estimation) it’s as though the planets align. I have a visceral response that manifests as a twinge in my eye sockets and butterflies in my belly, and not of the nervous kind. When the writing doesn’t come it can be frustrating, demoralising and like trying to run rocks through a sieve. On top of this, I’m not a speedy reader nor do I synthesize the information I’ve read very quickly. This makes things a little more challenging and, at times, anguishing. Continue reading “Seven months in and already with the highs and lows!”

Glac misneach! Take heart…all is not lost.


‘Glac misneach’, a deir mo stiúrthóir liom. ‘Tá anailís sofaisticiúil déanta agat’. Ach, chím faoina lámh lorg a phinn dheirg. Cé go mbímid ag súil le moltaí agus le treoir ónár stiúrthóirí, nuair a thugtar dúinn é bímid cosantach agus in uaireanta buaileann lagmhisneach sinn. Bíonn guth éigin ar chúl mo chinn ag béicíl orm Continue reading “Glac misneach! Take heart…all is not lost.”

‘You can’t really know what a PhD is like as long as you don’t do one!’

One day my supervisor told me: You cant really know what a PhD is like as long as you dont do one!.

I guess she was right !!! I had many misconceptions of what a PhD is before undertaking one.

Here again below, I made a comparative list between what I thought of the PhD process before starting, and what I think of it now (including negative but also positive sides).

The list is still not exhaustive, and any of you who would like to complete it, feel free! Continue reading “‘You can’t really know what a PhD is like as long as you don’t do one!’”

PhD versus regular work

Has anyone ever wondered: ‘Why did I start this PhD?’?????

During difficult moments of doubts and loneliness, you might have thought of what would be your life if you were not a PhD student.

Well, I suppose many of you would be working, probably in an office some where in a private or public institution.Do you think your life would be easier with a regular job then?

The answer is not necessarily yes…. Continue reading “PhD versus regular work”