Weeks 164 and 165: Completion of Chapter 4

I’ve completed editing Chapter 4, the methodology chapter. At 15,000 words, it is the second-largest chapter of my thesis.

My methodology chapter provides a lot of background about my preliminary fieldwork, the main fieldwork, the data sample, the three stages of the analysis, the results of a pilot study, and the development of an analytical framework for the qualitative design. It is so narrative and reveals what I have done with this research project over the past three years.



Ideally, I was going to finish the chapter a week early, but in the middle of February, I needed about a week to write my postdoc application before the deadline. Also, there was so much to do: workshops, class observation, etc.

My days have been fully occupied with academic work (apart from cooking!), and I am feeling sorry (for myself) that I’ve been completely away from social life. There are two months and two weeks left until my submission deadline.



Mixed vegetable curry
Cheesy pasta bake



Taking a break from teaching

It’s been two months since I started feeling awkward about teaching. I have read through my old blog posts about my teaching, and it’s surprising to notice that I made only positive comments. It seems back then I really liked the job. My feeling, at the moment, is rather the opposite. It is very difficult to explain. Maybe it’s due to the pressure and stress created by the thesis deadline approaching together with a busy schedule.

I started feeling that I may not have performed well in both the preparation and in the classroom. My explanations may be one-way information giving (teacher-centric rather than student-centric), and the students may not be receiving what I want to say. I expressed my feelings to my boss, being honest that I have fears and need some guidance. She told me that it is very typical to feel like that and that I have reached a point where I can consider students’ perspectives better and work towards improvement. She was probably right, and I felt grateful for her advice and encouragement. She then observed my teaching and provided some suggestions. But, as time passed, and as she tried, even my boss’s supportive feedback became too much pressure on me.

I love my students and enjoy talking to them. The interactions are not an issue. But, deep down, my feelings about a teaching role have changed.

I have decided to take a break from teaching after April and will see how I feel in September.



My achievements in weeks 164 and 165

  • Completed draft Chapter 4.
  • Sent my application for a postdoc research position.


Goals for week 165

  • Edit Chapters 2 and 3.