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[personal profile] delta_mike
Hello, everybody!

Hi, Doctor DM!

Not yet, but I'm glad you've brought that up..

My PhD has just entered a new phase. There are now approximately 9 weeks remaining before the thesis submission deadline at the end of October, and -- thanks to some well-timed prodding and support from one of the local Professors and my supervisor, I'm now actually working to get it done.

(This is a really positive step; I'm motivated about the PhD in a way I haven't been for years. Just in time, I hope.)

The schedule I've mapped out is tight: I have a thesis document that's approximately 10k words; the finished version will probably need to be closer to 50k. That means I need to average about 1000 words a day, five days a week, for the next 7 weeks. Bear in mind that I can't just write full-time; I also have a part-time two-day-a-week day-job that I need to do justice to until my contract expires at the end of September[1].

One bit of good news is that I'm almost certainly going to have a full-time, paying job waiting for me to jump into here on November 1st -- I've just sent in the application form yesterday, but I'm literally the most qualified person in the world for this post (bar one, but he's not eligible / interested. :-). It's a good job, with good people, and means I don't have any money worries -- which is a blessing.

But until then, I have an aggressive schedule. I'm also already sleep-deprived, and fairly badly in need of a real break.. I think the last one was Christmas?

What this means:

I'm going to be hella-busy. There's a fair chance that I'm going to get fairly emotionally brittle over the next couple months, so warmth and sympathy -- which I normally get in spades from you guys! -- will be particularly valuable during this time.

If you see me quoting numbers by themselves, that's the day's word-count so far. The target on writing days is 1000. If it's two digits, the day's going poorly. (If it's five -- woohoo!)

I'm going to have to turn down lots of invitations to things that I would like to go to because of time constraints; I'm also likely to be weary during what free time that I can budget in, and this will impact what out-of-hours activities I'm going to be up for. Please do continue inviting me to things, but be aware that me turning you down (or not managing to reply at all) is likely a result of the workload.

Looking ahead to the week ending Sept 11th, I've got a too-busy schedule: Mon-Tues working at the day-job, Thurs-Fri spent at Maelstrom Event 4, Saturday helping to run OpenTech 2010, and a heck of a lot of writing to do on Sunday. (Oh, and Wednesday's my 30th birthday. :-) To make it all work, I think I'm probably going to have to not attend Maelstrom -- or, if I do, spend just Thursday there for gentle frothing and entertainment, and possibly some friendly PD IT support. Nothing's quite nailed down yet, and it depends on what PD will let me do -- I still need to mail Matt. Sorry to disappoint those hoping for more.

London-peeps: At some point, I'll be scheduling a local 30th birthday thing. Probably fairly quiet and low-key; good company, good food, and general light entertainment.


[1] Doing justice to my day-job is actually easier than it sounds: whilst September is the group's busiest time of year, I have a lot of cred built up in the department as a whole, and the group specifically. Moreover, I've been spending many more hours working (on mission-critical projects) then I'm required to / should have been, and so can potentially claim quite a lot of time off in lieu in addition to however many days leave I have untaken. So I've got a lot of leeway.
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