Life, Academia and other Disasters: An Update

Some readers may have noticed that my posts have become increasingly rare over the last year or so. As I mentioned in my last post about gardening, this was largely because I was trying to finish my PhD, which was due at the end of this year. That’s not going to happen now.

I started it in 2013, and it was supposed to be a 3 year project, but years (and I do literally mean years) of delays with getting programmers to create the system I needed for my data collection meant I didn’t have a fully working system until this year (any time I expressed concern that these delays meant I wouldn’t be able to finish my thesis in time, I was told “It won’t come to that, don’t worry”). This was followed by me being moved out of my office with no notice and having to jump through a ridiculous number of hurdles just to have a replacement room organised, and then staff shortages and communication issues at an interpreter booking agency I needed. As a result, I was going to be left with about 3 months to do my data analysis and finish writing my thesis, which would have been impossible. When I asked for advice about how I could manage my PhD, I was told “You’ll just have to discontinue”. At this point, I fell ill with the flu and developed another progressive health issue which I still don’t have a diagnosis for, and this combined with the build up of stress from working on a PhD project I never had any hope of finishing more or less destroyed my mental health, and since I’d now grown to actively hate the project I’d started out so enthusiastic and passionate about, I saw no point in killing myself trying to keep working on it. So, two weeks ago, after wasting 6.5 years of my life on it, I made the decision to discontinue my PhD.

I’m still bitter and angry and upset that I’ve been denied achieving my goal even though I did everything in my power to achieve it. I’ve been trying to get back into writing or art but this horror show of a project has just sucked all the creativity and energy out of me over the last several months. I’ve picked out some reference photos for my next pieces (one will be in coloured pencil and the other will be in watercolour), and on Friday last week I went into the city and bought some new art supplies, so I’m hoping to resume my regular(ish) art supply review and demonstration posts here soon. It will probably be quiet around here for a little while until I can get myself sorted out.

Anyway, I thought I should probably try to finish this post on a positive note, so here’s my first drawing since June; a crappy T-Rex I scrawled onto a scrap of notepad paper with a pen.

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