End of month 1 Year 2

It’s Friday afternoon, I’m on the last day of my 30 day no drinking adventure (documented on my personal blog) and hitting refresh on my email constantly as I wait to hear whether I’ve been accepted into the international conference PhD workshop (I’m supposed to be notified by 1st Feb.)

Touching base on my January goals and thinking about my next 4 weeks. Here’s where I am at:

  • Contact outstanding interviews from existing sets to schedule interviews: one confirmed for next Friday and one has disappeared into the ether…..no idea whether I will locate them.
  • Determine next 20 interviews and contact primary subjects: Wow this is harder than I thought.  I have emails out to two potential primary candidates (Sydney and Adelaide) and no responses.  People who I thought would jump at the opportunity are just not responding to emails.  I’m working myself up into a bit of an anxiety bubble over this, so taking a screen break over the weekend before attempting to contact new people on Monday. Adelaide is a priority as I am already booked to travel there in March.
  • Touch base with supervisor – meet and discuss project plan: Done and done.  We met yesterday (and I should say I received my Stage 1 feedback this week, which was very valuable, and I am now officially a Stage 2 candidate.)
  •  Map out plan for publication in 2015 – journals to approach, time frames: sort of.  I have a journal article idea, that fits with my data collected, but I haven’t finalised the journals as yet.  I’m going to commence the Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks program as of next week, but this assumes you have a previous essay/paper to modify.  I do not, so I’ll spend 2-3 weeks putting a 5,000 rough paper together first.  Aim is to submit by the end of this semester.
  • Semester 1 teaching course reviewed and gaps identified, course content finalised end February: on track.  Just confirming the subject guide with my school, and then I update as of next week.

So it’s hasn’t been a bad month. I’ve made some big theoretical leaps as well, which has cemented my direction. This is good. But I think I have to realistic with regard to just how many interviews I can do, not because of time, but because of actually getting subjects.  I was overly optimistic in my belief people would want to be part of this project.

Anyhow, for the month of February my aims are:

  • Complete the review of my Cultural Policy Course.
  • Have a paper ready to write my journal article on, complete with references and further data.
  • Have collected enough data and notes to begin a draft chapter on Context: Creative industries and their HR implications
  • Continue reading on social learning theory and communities of practice, including critical approaches.

Onwards and upwards – Happy Friday all.


I love it when a plan comes together

PhotoIt says something about my mind when I use a quote from “The A Team” as a headline.

Note: the uptake of readers of this blog has been surprising.  I’m not really doing this as a form of communication with other people and did contemplate making it private.  But the number of followers has surprised me in the first week, we aren’t talking huge, but I can’t really think why anyone would want to read this.  It will really annoy me if I end up with more readers or followers here than on my other blog. Just saying.

This morning I sat down with my sharpies and butcher’s paper (I was too exhausted last night after writing) and mapped out my ideas for part one of my literature review.  As I mentioned in this earlier post on leadership, and reiterated yesterday on process, I have come full circle in my structural thinking.  When I put everything on paper, aligning the questions I had been thinking about with the proposed structure of the section, it came together nicely. There may have been a little happy dance.

Yesterday I also completed my 2,000 words on critical leadership and sent them off to S1 and S2.  I am not sure if either will actually read them. But that’s not the point.  The discipline to actually write them was something I needed.  And they will help form part of the about critical section in my lit review.  It was a step that had been missing in my self-defined process last year that I think helps clarify my ideas and (hopefully) makes me a better writer.

S1 and I talked this morning about the role she can play and the relationship with S2, and she admitted she did skim my writing and gave some good feedback. To be honest I expected that if it was read it would have been ripped to pieces (as a learning experience) so this was a nice surprise.

We’ve also mapped out a timeframe for the next few months:

  • April: I continue to work of the “what is leadership?” theme and try to pull everything together in 10,000 or so words.  While this sounds like a lot you can see from the above map that there is a huge amount of terrain to cover.
  • May to mid-June: I do the same for leadership development.  This is ambitious in some respect as I’ll have worked on the leadership side for three months.  I hope that I’ve become a bit more efficient in my reading and can be more judicious with my time.
  • Mid-June  – August: Methodology and ethics.  How am I going to conduct my primary research, with whom, how do I find and contact them, what do I ask them.  What methods will I use to analyse the data collected.

The aim is to do Stage 1 assessment September/October and ethics clearance just before or just after.  Setting me up for primary data collection in 2015.

After reading a couple of thesis I’m surprised at the scope of data collection, as in it is not as broad as I expected.  Thirty interviews may be all that’s needed.  Doesn’t sound too hard does it? (But I am prepared to be surprised.)

This week has been a very good week academically. I received a positive email from a student saying she enjoyed my classes, I have written A LOT and I have a plan for moving forward.

This blog has helped, undoubtedly.  It has removed a mental barrier I had with regard to writing.  Next, as in tomorrow, I start looking at feminist analysis of leadership.  Wont that be fun?