Week 24

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My week 24 can be described by two words, ‘returning home’.

On Monday night, when I went to bed, I suddenly remembered my old friends in Japan. I immediately sent messages to nine people with whom I used to be close when I was in Japan but have not talked to for a while. It was around 8 a.m. in Japan at that time, and they were awake. For the following two hours, I got prompt replies from all of them and we sent messages to each other. I felt happy to talk to them again and realised that I had not properly had time to speak to my friends in Japan. I might have had some feelings that while they and I are close to each other, my real life is now based in the UK. Most elements of my life are dominated by the social norms here, the media here and the same routine work of reading, writing and editing every day.

I really enjoyed messaging with nine of my friends for the first time in 10 months or a year.

On Thursday morning, I flew to Japan and arrived at Narita on Friday morning. The outbound flight was nice, and I was able to work on my research. My colleague picked me up at the airport, and I headed to the office. This trip was for doing some work and shopping for food, snacks and books to take back to the UK. It was really nice to try a new ochazuke restaurant and have some junk food and a sushi dinner with my colleague. I stayed for two nights and left Narita on Sunday morning. My body clock was still on UK time.

On the inbound flight, I slept for the whole of the 10 hour-flight without having any meals but I had some water before landing. Maybe I was too tired!

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Week 23

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I had a supervisory meeting to get feedback on my work. My supervisors pointed out a problem with a structure of the chapter and gave me much advice. As a result, I need to divide the literature review into two different chapters and narrow the key theories down to one point in each. My supervisors have recently shown some concern that my focus is still too broad, and I have been also told that, in English academic writing, it is crucial to help readers by making the points as clear as possible. Based on these points, I will revise my research protocol and literature review for the next two weeks.

Next week, I will fly to Japan, stay for two days in Tokyo and come back to the UK. This trip is going be very tiring, but I am very happy to go to Japan for the first time in six months! I have been asked to help with some jobs from my old company in Tokyo, and I would like to help them. And, I will probably have a sushi dinner with my friends.

On Saturday, Luca gave me a bunch of flowers for the first time, along with a box of doughnuts!

My goals for Week 24:

  • Revise the research protocol and the literature review
  • Enjoy teaching
  • Safely travel to Japan and come back

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Week 22

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I got really behind my personal deadline for writing the draft. I was distressed about my incapability to deal with it, and I spent the whole week reading, writing and editing. I can describe my Week 22 as ‘a traffic jam’ caused by work I needed to do for the ethics applications, the research protocol, a chapter of the literature review and teaching two different classes. I was stressed out and had some arguments with Luca about our personal issues. That made my mental stress worse! We made friends again though.

Eventually, I finished editing my draft on Sunday night and submitted it the following morning. I managed to deal with everything at the last possible moment. It was such a heavily congested path, so I’m relieved it’s over.

My goals for Week 23:

  • Submit my ethics applications to the committee
  • Enjoy teaching
  • Take a day off
  • Bake muffins
  • Prepare for a workshop
  • Enjoy dinner with my new friends on Friday