Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Day by day it's becoming more real

So I'm now officially a PhD research student and those carefree days of slaving over a Masters dissertation are nought but a memory. Still, I'm not exactly progressing the new research at a rate of knots.

The first few weeks have been all about making the transition from taught student to research student. I now have a shared office at Brunel with a desk, bookshelves and a quarter share in a phone. I've just been on a two-day Early Stage Research Module, and have given my first presentation on my work to fellow PhD students as part of a research skills module that's compulsory for newbies like me.

That was quite an experience: I was the only historian in the room, faced by economists, political scientists, psychologists and a scary number of social anthropologists. I'm not sure they 'get' my research any more than I get what they're up to. Still, it was a fun half-hour.

I've had a meeting with my secondary supervisor but not my main one: I think we're avoiding each other until he has finished marking my Masters disso. Until then, I'm scoping and trying to build a network of researchers interested in the conjunction of the media and the space race since this year's planned work builds directly on what I started with the Masters. Already I feel that I only scratched the surface with that piece - but I have no indication yet whether it was a good or bad scratch. Certainly every day since the disso went in I've uncovered something new. I'm kicking myself that so many things didn't make the final draft, and feeling that I got too hung up on the superficial. Anyway, time will tell.

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