August has been a time of transition between completing the final elements of my PhD programme and starting work in a new environment.
I finished the editing for my final thesis submission, completing all the paperwork for my employment, and setting up my work-from-home office and ‘virtual classroom’.
I bought a new, 27-inch iMac to prepare for working full time from home and lecturing online, and two research projects using several analytical software systems.
The simplicity of iMac design is stunning. The large screen is beautiful, the speakers are pretty good, and everything is smooth and easy to use. I successfully sent my old MacBook Pro for a trade-in programme, and I got a refund.
Luca and I swapped desk locations and bought two large bookshelves, discarding a lot of stuff and re-arranging the office formation entirely. We now have much more space to display books and decorate the room with some greens.
Since the lockdown started, our personal space has been merged with aspects of our professional lives. I have had more meetings on Zoom than ever before. So many aspects of our personal and professional activities are beginning to overlap. This month, I signed up for three new online courses on complementary medicine and holistic health practice. These fulfil me both personally and professionally, and learning something new always brings me happiness.
As many post-viva PhD students do, my supervisors and I started discussing publication strategies. I am roughly drafting a book proposal, as I would like to publish my thesis as a book. During the viva, my examiners and I discussed which form could be the best for publication, and we agreed that it would make more sense to present my framework with all the illustrations and examples I included in the thesis. The next question would be which publisher and what book series to aim for.
I wrote an academic book proposal earlier this year and am currently writing a book chapter for a different project. I feel genuinely enthusiastic about this, and I can consider it as a pleasure. But this may be a bit of a detour from what I would like to pursue in the future. Regardless of my career, I will keep writing articles – I was going to be an independent researcher if I couldn’t get any academic role. My supervisors told me that the selection of publisher for my thesis should be guided by the career path I choose, because there are several publication options, and each of them has a different level of impact.
It feels as though I am being given options to choose from and a better understanding of myself as well.
Next week, I will be preparing to embark on a new academic life.