Thesis update: waiting….

So I feel like I am entering the final stage of the long saga that has been the PhD. I just wish it would speed up a little now.

Before James and I headed off to Hamilton Island last month I sent a full draft of the thesis to my supervisor. It had taken an effort to get to that stage – I had edited on paper all my changes and all those Jill, my supervisor, had recommended onto a paper version, then transfered them into the electronic version and wrote my introduction and conclusion. Jill had seen my intro and conclusion before the whole draft, and raised some issues with the conclusion, so I had gone away and edited it. When she had seen it again, she still had some concerns, so I had taken it away and tried to play with it again – and had a small crisis. I reread it and was't happy. It didn't quite work. The problem was that I was trying to separate out history and collective memory and nostalgia, and it jsut didnn't work. There has been so much written about the question of what history is and isn't, that trying to come to grips with it in a couple of pages in a way which was meaningful to the conclusions I was trying to draw, just didn't quite work. So I spent a day feeling miserable. That was the Saturday of the October long weekend.  On the Sunday of the October long weekend, I went into my office at uni in the afternoon and sat and thought. I went back to basics – what was I actually trying to prove in my thesis? What was, in fact, my research question? After an hour or so of mostly thinking and rereading, I worked out that what my thesis was really about was the relationship of the "present" in which a representation is made with the past it is representing, This meant that the issues I had been struggling with were no longer particularly relevant….hey presto, problem solved. I then spent the Monday and the next week fiddling with parts of the thesis to recast it to reflect this thesis question, felt much much happier with the conclusion, and got it to Jill before I got on the plane to Hamilton.

And now I am still waiting to hear back from Jill. It is important to hear from her – if she is reasonably happy with it, one final edit and I will submit. I really would have liked to have submitted before Christmas, but it is getting too late for that now – I need to put in my formal notice and decide on examiners and have them notified etc etc. So it will probably be the end of January, which does give me a little more time to make any final tweaks. I had however been looking forward to the idea of  the Christmas holiday season completely thesis-free…. I am really hoping that Jill doesn't have any major issues – I might have to debate her to see if the thesis will survive them, as I am just not keen to do much further reshaping – I think I have finally reached the sick-of-it phase. James has, in the meantime, read it and done some proofing and assured me that it works as a thesis – he said it reads like "proper academic work" which is high praise. Hopefully Jill will call this week….

In the meantime, I think I finally today thought up a title: "When I was young…" – the Sixties in the Reagan era: how the present impacts on representations of the past." I like it. The Animals song is used in a couple of the films I discuss and the attitude in the song reflects the kind oof way that the Sixties was seen in the films…When I was young it was more important, pain more painful, laughter much louder…..

So hopefully the next time I write about my thesis in much detail it will be on its way to my examiners!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Iron Chef Maple Syrup

Iron chef maple_0004Iron chef maple_0005Iron chef maple_0007Iron chef maple_0008

Because Steve and Shell don't have a dining room, and their kitchen is without a lot of bench space but they have an excellent back yard and bbq, we decided to take a different approach to Iron Chef for this round. Hence, Iron Chef Maple Syrup Brunch.

A fine array of maple syrup infused or topped dishes were presented for consumption. We had poached pears with maple syrup infused yoghurt balls, french toast cakes with sausage and apple filling, homemade baked beans with maple syrup, banana and maple syrup muffins, maple soaked pumpkin and almond salad and pancakes and bacon with maple syrup.

Iron chef maple_0010Iron chef maple_0011Iron chef maple_0012Iron chef maple_0013Iron chef maple_0014Iron chef maple_0015Iron chef maple_0026Iron chef maple_0027Iron chef maple_0028Iron chef maple_0030

We drank cranberry and champagne and Sebastian dark ale and enjoyed the lovely weather. Later we moved to the more lunch aspect of the day and ate maple syrup and pepper salmon popsicles and maple glazed pumpkin and blue cheese pizza, before finishing off the food component of the day with a maple syrup cheesecake. All was absolutely delicious and very relaxing under the shady apricot tree.

The boys ensured a traditional Australian aspect to the afternoon with a round of backyard cricket.

Iron chef maple_0017Iron chef maple_0018Iron chef maple_0022Iron chef maple_0024

All in all, there are a lot worse ways to spend a Sunday.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

An array of boys

Sick little Zacky is in the background….

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Snail

Saturday1
Saturday5
Saturday4
Saturday2
Saturday3

The junior etymologist phase commenced today with the discovery and capture of a snail. Now residing in a jar, the boys were most concerned to find appropriate food stuffs for it.

Having their great success with the snail, the boys went on to explore the garden and discover slaters which were transfered into a bowl for further observation.

The fascination of nature is endless…

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Mr Self-Sufficient

Zachary decided he wanted vegemite on his toast. So he did it himself.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

I’ve been eating too many blueberries!

Cloudy day at Henley Beach