Thursday, 8 January 2009

Slow day - Slow week

There's only one day left in my first week "back at work" and I feel like it's been going painfully slowly, on purpose. I didn't decide to keep a slow pace, it just happened, but as a result of pretty conscious decisions. I don't actually feel like I've procrastinated much - I've been quite productive overall, but it's mostly things that, really, I could've taken care of in the evenings after work (eg. filling in forms and jumping through admin hoops, investigating ways of dealing with my annoyingly partitioned laptop hard-drive, organising my USB-stick and ultimately deciding to buy a portable external hard-drive to make things easier and as an extra safety net).

Is it a bit strange that I'm referring to my PhD as "work"? It should really be "research," but I honestly don't really feel like I'm doing much of that yet. It's like I have this idea in my head that the real research will happen in the field. That's where research happens after all, right? From a more rational point of view, that's a load of bull. I should be planning so hard for my field season! What are you thinking, Christina?! You've got data to analyse, bird songs to learn, and survey methods to try out! What are you doing faffing around?!

I wish I could answer myself... Well, it'll be a new week soon - I'll make up for it.
Okay, I just set myself up for wasting more time tomorrow. Doh!

Right, enough of things I'm down about! What am I happy about?

Well, the first thing is that I managed to get myself out into the cold last night to go to the gym. It took me a while to get going (my subconscious inertia is really quite remarkable) - which basically meant the gym instructor with the key to lock up was waiting for me to finish my stretching at 10:30 last night - but I did it! And it was goooood. I only did half an hour of intervals on the recumbent bike and then 3 sets of my favourite core exercises with only half the weight I was used to last summer, but I figure I'll get my form back before I get properly back into strength training - the last thing I want is to injure myself a few weeks before field work season!

Another thing that makes me smile at the moment is reading Stephen Fry's autobiography (Moab Is My Washpot). As a person who's only been living in the UK for a few years without a television (except the last 3 months), I only recently began discovering who Fry was through a few random episodes of Q.I. I've also watched a bit of Jeeves and Wooster on TV recently, but I am unfamiliar with the joys of Blackadder and A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Then I got on Twitter (I'm still not sure why, although I blame it entirely on a certain geneticist) and subscribed to Fry's tweets. And now I'm getting to know him - indirectly. It's great fun, although sometimes it can get a bit much - he writes how he speaks so reading this book it's a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Finally, it was good to see my fellow supervisee and office-mate today. We had a good rant about our supervisor, and about "work" and field work and our significant others (in a good way of course!... not that I have any hope that he's reading this) and stuff. It was good. Maybe at lunchtime tomorrow I should make en effort to see my second supervisee and my other fellow Environmental Sciences PhDs. After all, come mid-February, it'll be at least 4 months before I see them again.

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