This is a collection of an even dozen of my postings to web forums. They all relate in some way to being a PhD student. The postings range from the philosophical to humour to advice.
There have been some great and important changes to me over the time of my candidature. I have learnt a great deal about the meaning of research, both as an activity within itself and in its effect on the person doing it. I now believe that it is not possible to do research without being changed by it. That does not only mean that the knowledge gained by doing the research will change the person acquiring it but also that the person will be changed in their outlook by being involved in doing the research. Thus research is a process that changes the individual doing it because it changes the researcher's conceptions of themself and their world.
This book is a collection of the postings I’ve had on internet forums, so all of them have been found acceptable for publication elsewhere.
Icover a lot of ground, from the philosophical to humour to advice, but all the chapters are related in some way to my experience of being a PhD student.
I hope that you find the book interesting and that some of the ideas expressed herein are useful to you.
The subtitle of this book – “Postings of a serving PhD student” – came about partly as a description of the contents, that is, they are postings from various web forums. Also it satisfies my delight in words that have multiple meanings. ‘Serving’ has three relevant meanings here.
Firstly, ‘serving’ refers to doing ones time and duty in an important position such as that of a diplomat or in the armed services. It can also refer, of course, to ‘doing time’ in prison. I feel that, in one or other of these senses (take your pick), I am ‘serving’ my time as a PhD student.
Secondly, it can refer to delivering something to a person, such as a meal. I see this book as ’serving’ up some interesting bits to you, the reader. I am ‘serving’ the postings up to you for your delectation.
Thirdly, in tennis, ‘serving’ means sending the ball across the court to one’s opponent for him or her to return and so to set up a backwards and forwards interaction. Thus I am ‘serving’ the pieces here to you, my readers, with the hope that they will join the ‘game’ and take part with me.
At the back of the book is a listing of the forums where these articles were first posted in case you would like to see the original publications. They have pictures and other graphics on them which I have not included in this book. Also there are feedback and comments from some of the people who read them that you might find interesting.
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