PhD Diary Week One

A blank notebook with fountain pen

One Monday this week I started a PhD course. I figured it might be a nice thing to write down my thoughts in this blog. Doing so should help organise my thoughts. And in the unlikely event of this endeavour becoming a train wreck, readers get a front row seat.

A blank notebook with fountain pen
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Week 1 is Forms Week. Got to get all that admin work done, haven’t you. I filled out forms for payments, forms for registration, dealt with the admin side of things being slow to the point of not working at all…

I also encountered no less than 4 different spellings of my name: Léon, Leon, Léon, and simply “Lon”. It’s fun having foreign Unicode characters in your name.

I also helped out with a small usability study I had been previously planning with my supervisor. Which offered some human interaction, which is always a nice way to break up the admin… by doing questionnaires. Totally different from a form. Right?

Join the Conversation

  1. I’m looking forward to your journey of working on your PhD! During my PhD I learned a lot and not necessarily on the topic I was studying. There were a lot of downs, but in the end, I think it was worth it! Good luck!

  2. Congratulations on starting a PhD. I wish you every success. This will be your entire life and almost completely consume you for the next three years, but passing your viva voce at the end is a brilliant feeling of satisfaction. Doing a PhD will change you as a person, there’s no doubt about that. It’s no guarantee of a better career path, or more money over the course of your career, but having that title “Dr” does open doors and add some credibility.

    On the subject of names that the English-speaking word deems “unusual”, when the last Labour UK government were pushing for everybody to have mandatory ID cards, I was discussing temporarily changing my name to:
    a’; drop table users; —
    or something similar as a protest! Also, I attended a conference where one of the academics was an indigenous Canadian of some variety, and he had a terrible time with any kind of forms, documentation, submitting journal articles, etc. They all required him to have a first and a last name, but he didn’t have a forename and surname – simply one name.


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