my PhD journey: from student to lecturer

9 11 2011

hi all

So much for trying to update regularly, crikey I’ve been so busy its been around 6 months since my last update.

Ok so what new, well from the title you may well have guessed that I am now lecturing as well as trying to do my PhD, I say trying as I am working so much I am finding it difficult to make time to do anything on my PhD, so currently I have an almost complete paper waiting to be finalised so that I can send it for journal publication. I also have in my head at least 2 more papers that need writing either for conference or journal, as working towards my progression form 6 and getting my ethics form ready, so no pressure there lol

The paper I wrote and presented at the Investigative Psychology conference in Amsterdam (Interpretations of domestic violence: defining intimate partner abuse)  is now available in the university repository at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/11786/2/GavinInterpretations.pdf anyone interested in the subject might want to check it out (positive/negative feedback/critique welcomed)

So what am I teaching I hear you ask, well I am delivering final year undergrad Forensic Psychology at UCO & UCB (that’s the University of Huddersfield campuses at Oldham & Barnsley), as well as first year undergrad Concepts in Psychology at both campuses and final year undergrad Psychological Difficulties at UCO; on top of this I am supervising 3 final year projects and have 31 first year personal tutee’s across the 2 campuses. there is also the possibility that I may be supervising a few more projects shortly, so you can see I have my hands full. Although I am enjoying lecturing and so far so good I’m getting positive feedback from the students and my superiors. I just hope I can get a healthy balance between work and PhD so that I don’t fall behind, but if I don’t work I can’t pay my fees, and I don’t get the much-needed experience.

I also covered a lecture with the MSc Investigative Psychology students on Domestic Violence & Stalking which was quite daunting, but I got through it. There is definitely a difference in lecturing at the campuses and lecturing at Queensgate.

I have now signed up to do the TAPP (Teaching Assistant Preparation Programme) in January. I know a little late considering the amount I’m doing, but I feel I could benefit from some training, as I was just thrown in the deep end when I started as I couldn’t make the training day due to being on holiday.

I can say now though after a couple of months lecturing that I am starting to develop a routine and should soon be getting back on top of my PhD, though assignments will be due in soon so I will have a pile of marking to do. However, I am not going to worry as term time is only half the year so I will get time to catch up when schools out.

Well I think that’s about all for now folks, up early for work in the morning so I’ll leave for now.

nice to chat with you all again, till next time

bye peeps





Update and rant from your favourite random blogger

5 05 2011

hi guys,

Sorry its been a while since my last blog, i have been quite busy with other things, but i want to continue blogging so here i am again, i am going to try to update at least once a month, more if possible.

I guess i should start by letting you know how my presentation went in Amsterdam. i have to say i was terrified, i was only the 3rd speaker on the 1st day and the room i was in was busting at the seams, all preperations in place i stood up in front of all these professional people from around the world, voice and body shaking and seriously feeling like i was about to burst into tears a began my presentation. Though i felt like i was shaking uncontrollably and my voice sounded shaky i managed to get through the 20 minutes without breaking down completely, fortunately no-one asked any questions during or at the end and i could relax. When the room emptied my friends priased me but confirmed that i did indeed look like i might cry at the very beginning of my presentation but apparently i composed myself very quickly and came across very well. So that was the actual presentation over but i was still shaking, i guess i still needed to get some feedback from those who had seen my presentation but were not connected to me so had no vested interest in being nice – if you know what i mean. Following my presentation it was lunch break, so i went to meet up with my colleagues and network. i looked around the room at a sea of highly proffessional people who have years of experience, got a coffee and a sandwich and just watched people talking, i admit i felt rather intimidated and small so i just smiled at people whose faces i recognised but did not know and waited patiently for an opening to speak to some-one. Then it happened, someone wanted to talk to me, someone i hold in high regard wanted to know about my research, but even more exciting he wanted to use my research in his work (and over seas), i couldn’t possibly have been paid a better compliment, we talked for a while and i handed him my business card to get in touch, i was over-whelmed to say the least. next i was approached by another PhD student who was interested in my research and asked for my card, then i was complimented by numerous others who had attended my presentation, SUCCESS, i could relax, i wasn’t going to be torn to pieces, or critisized, people who said they had intended to asked questions found that i had answered them within my presentation, all the stress i had been carrying round started to leave me and now i was just plain exhausted. The rest of the day i attended other presentations, and helped out with the organisation, then that evening me and some of the other girls went into the centre and experienced the real Amsterdam, which i thoroughly enjoyed.

After Amsterdam i was psychologically and physically exhausted i practically slept for 3 days, i couldn’t motivate myself to get back into my routine of uni work and let it slide rather a lot, luckily i had signed up to do the workshop for just this occassion ‘avoiding defeatism & self sabotage’ it did the job and my enthusiasm returned, unfortunately the following week was full of emergency situations that diverted me away from my work, then i was taken seriously ill and couldn’t do anything. not to worry though, i have now forced myself to sit down and start doing my uni work, i have had to realise that i can’t always stick to my usually strict study regime as sometimes ‘life just gets in the way’ that said i am not about to give up on my studies now. so here i am sat at the computor again, trying to work on my form 2 for the PhD, for those of you that don’t know what that is, it is basically the research proposal for my PhD, which i have yet to pull together as i still haven’t got it sraight in my head yet.

I must say that i have been having the most unfortunate run of bad luck this last month, without going into too much detail and boring everyone, over the last 4 weeks i have had 3 family emergencies that required my assistance, my own sudden illness that required a hospital visit and now numerous intrusive tests that will probably require a major operation. complete melt down of the laptop i use for all my uni work and like a fool i hadn’t backed up my most recent work, though luckily i was able to retrieve it before the laptop died forever (it is now in the hands of the insurance company), i also got done for speeding, naughty i know but per-lease 33mph  in a 30mph, that is pathetic but i have had to pay£85 and must go on a speed awareness course. on top of this i have a leak in my bathroom that requires a plumber, an electrical fault that requires the elctrician, and no money tree in the back garden to fund all this. as well as all that the wind blew my washing line completely down with the washing on it, my cooker as decided to fall to bits and because of my illness i am unable to start training for the job with stop hate.

On a more positive note, i am going on holiday very soon, and when i return all of the above problems are going to be solved and i can sit back with the knowledge that 2011 can’t get any worse, which means things can only get better.

Oh and i am now officially a non-smoker having recieved my certificate from the NHS after completing the course, yes there have been times when i really could have reached for a cigarette but i didn’t and i am no longer reliant on nicotine replacement, so for all of you out there that want to stop smoking i can recommend the NHS smoking cessation.

Oh well, this blog is seriously not helping me get some work done so i am going to sign out for today

although anyone out there who might want to join in on my random blogs or even discuss a research topic please feel free to comment or email me and i’ll get back to you

till next time – bye guys