learning, unlearning and relearning

Kia ora friends,

so … um … yesterday at about 2pm I submitted my PhD thesis. I have decided this is like winning a quarterfinal – worthy of a little celebration, a wonderful milestone, but TEAM we ain’t done. Still needing to be examined and defended … but we are getting there.

You’d have thought it was a fab time for champagne popping, but a) I didn’t want to drink a whole bottle, b) I didn’t want to waste any, and c) I had an appointment for jabs in the afternoon, which made day-drinking pretty unappealing. So I’m as-yet-unchampagned!

I promised myself I’d have June off for resting and knitting, but sheesh it’s gonna be a process, getting used to not chipping away at the huge PhD goal.

Can I tell you a bit about what a long road? I am the first in family to graduate from a tertiary institution – got my Diploma of Teaching in Early Childhood straight outta high school in the early 90’s.

My lil’ Dip T and I punched above our weight for years, enjoying the BEST JOB EVER at the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance housed at Tennessee Tech University at the turn of the century (go Golden Eagles!), and when I was a new mum in the early aughts I slowly clawed my way to the BTchLn upgrade, one distance paper at a time, finishing in 2006.

I guess it was a couple of years later I started trying to convert that into some postgraduate quals, and my path to the PGDip was interrupted by the collapse of the city, the need to provide care to my dear mum, followed by my next (precious) pregnancy.

Eventually I finished the PGDipHSci in 2018, by which time my sweet mother had died, so she never knew about my successful completion of a Master’s degree by research in 2020, or this gargantuan mountain I’ve been climbing since.

A PhD is not for the faint hearted, and I am just beyond grateful for the support of my exceptional supervision team, my beautiful family, and the Child Wellbeing Research Institute at the University of Canterbury. We are on track to finish ‘er up midyear.

So here comes enforced rest! Weird. I started yesterday with cleaning out slime from the nooks and crannies of my washing machine. Unbeknownst to me, there is a world of cleaning videos out there, and I am so jazzed by the notion of having some time to indulge in a bit of oikology! All the jobs I’ve been walking past and ignoring for YEARS … here we come …