Start as you hope to continue

Welcome to 2015!

I was at my desk by 9am this morning, after a brisk 7km walk with the dog, ready to kick off the new year.  I’m excited to get back into PhD world after an exhilarating and exhausting end to 2014 with a trip to Chile and Argentina and then the annual Christmas pilgrimage around Australia visiting all the family.

Most things were wrapped up by the end of last year, though as yet I haven’t received my stage one feedback (on the written component.)  Given the way universities work I’m not expecting anything now until after Australia Day. Though one of my panel has retired, so I wonder if I will get anything at all from him.

I’ve been thinking about short, medium and long term goals for my academic and working life and it seems like a good time to outline some of them.

2015 Academic goals:

  1. To be published (or accepted for publication) in one academic journal
  2. To present at a conference, or PhD workshop as part of conference (AIMAC application currently outstanding)
  3. To successfully deliver new ‘Cultural and Creative Leadership’ course at UNSW Art & Design (Semester 2)
  4. To publish one piece in non-academic platform, such as The Conversation

This breaks down into some short term planning:

By the end of this week:

  • Get organised for the year: clean desk, order new equipment (mouse, printer cartridges, new iPad – all things that I need and have avoided doing.)
  • Update my interview schedule project plan for 2015
  • Begin transcribing my outstanding interviews – finish by end of the month
  • Get back into reading, and importantly, note taking.
  • Lay out the thematic areas I need to review this semester

By the end of this month:

  • Contact outstanding interviews from existing sets to schedule interviews
  • Determine next 20 interviews and contact primary subjects
  • Touch base with supervisor – meet and discuss project plan
  •  Map out plan for publication in 2015 – journals to approach, time frames
  • Semester 1 teaching course reviewed and gaps identified, course content finalised end February.

By end of this quarter:

  • 10 more interviews planned
  • Participate in another writing group/’shut up and write’
  • AIMAC PhD workshop presentation completed and submitted (contingent on acceptance) or alternate conference opportunity identified
  • Journal article concepts identified, discussed with supervisor and researched

By the end of this semester:

  • 30 additional interviews undertaken, transcribed.
  • 2 journal articles submitted for potential publication (timeframe contingent)
  • PhD workshop presentation presented (June 26/7 contingent on acceptance)
  • Successful delivery of ‘Cultural Policy’ course for UNSW Art & Design

I want to make a few changes to my way of working this year.  While I am satisfied with what I achieved in 2014, I think I need to lift my game somewhat and have, what I think are, ambitious goals for 2015.  In addition, I have received an 18 month scholarship. Why 18 months when I have 2 years to go I do not know, but it is a great relief to me.  Having this means I may (though I haven’t completely decided) choose to get a desk space at UTS and treat this more ‘job’ like.  Even if I don’t physically go to campus I plan of tightening up my schedule, no 9:45am yoga for example.  More 9am – 5pm desk time.

I’m excited as I love what I do, and I look forward to learning, sharing knowledge and discussing new ideas with my colleagues and community this year. And a bit of blog writing too…

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