Yes, it has been over a week since I last posted. It’s school holidays here in Sydney, Australia and so I have taken the time to get caught up on some much needed life tasks, including some gardening (planting veggies) and spring cleaning around the house. My family is traveling to Sydney next weekend to see Wicked and I will be having them all over for a BBQ. It will be so nice to see them all again, it has been months since I have seen my sister, brother, their partners, and my mother, and longer still since I have seen my dad, step-mother and grandparents. I try and call them every week to hear how they are going and finding out what they have been up to, but the weeks pass by more quickly the older you get, and I look forward to the day when I can slow down enough to be more physically present in their lives.
My girlfriend has been very helpful these past few weeks (and in fact the past few years) supporting me through the stressful times and being my rock when I felt my strength wavering. She has held down the fort, so to speak, and it has not gone unnoticed. It’s incredibly true when they say that your achievements in life are never really your own. In some way – and in my case, many ways – I owe many of my achievements to my family and friends. When I completed my Masters degree in 2008, I thought that would be the end to my formal education, which brought about a sigh of relief from my girlfriend. Alas the neurotic days of a student were not yet over and I attended the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 2011 to complete the graduate certificate in web series. This study then sparked a fire in my belly for research in digital media practice and so I applied once again, this time to the University of Technology Sydney for a research degree in 2012. Now, almost 3 years have gone by and I am down to 182 days left to complete my doctorate (in my self-set time frame). My family are still 100% behind me, supporting me, encouraging me, and if I do, in fact, manage to successfully complete my degree, it will have been because I had them in my corner the whole time. I still joke (although I may be the only one who finds it humorous) that I will go on to complete another doctorate after this one in something like ancient history or education.
This past week hasn’t been completely void of thesis-related activity. I held my Stage 2 Assessment last Thursday 25th September, and feel like it was successful. I received positive and constructive feedback that I will now apply to my thesis. In some ways I wish I had known about the assessment earlier in the year, as the feedback I received has meant that I am now rethinking a few things, and it would have been useful to know 6 months ago. I appreciate the support from those in the faculty that attended (both academics and HDR students alike) as well as those who came from the Graduate Research School. It was a positive experience and will undoubtedly help in my final stages of writing up. Back to the grind, as they say!