Tag Archives: MA thesis

Coping with Pregnancy Hormones as a PostGradMama

A brain dump on my current #postgradpregnancywoes

Contrary to my initial thoughts and feelings: growing a thesis and a baby IS hard. Harder than I thought it would be. Today I hit 21 weeks down and 19 to go with my pregnancy, and my postgrad/mama life balance isn’t getting any easier.

I am tired.
I am teary.
I am irritable.
I am subject to constant mood swings.
I am suffering from ‘baby brain.’
I am having trouble prioritising my life.
I am lacking in academic self-confidence.

And this lack of self-confidence means my academic productivity has slipped. Greatly. I have been avoiding my LitReview like the plague. But considering a) I want it done before Smeagol arrives and b) it won’t do itself, I need to somehow get myself out of thisĀ  rut and get my LitReview mojo back on track.

My goal is to read 2-5 articles every day (including weekends) with the average goal being to read 3 articles every day. Part of the reading includes transferring my notes to my LitReview notes document (I take notes as I read in Mendeley, but am starting to arrange them into something somewhat somehow someday structured in Word).

My other daily goal is to take time out to remember ‘Hey, I am pregnant’ and to stop stressing over the little things. The most important things are my well-being, the well-being of my little one and my husband (and my furbabies), and then worrying about academics.

Sometimes I feel like I need a similar wall mural to this infamous one by Homer Simpson:

Other PostGrad/Mamas:-
How do/did you cope with the postgrad/mama balance?

Help?!

Advertisements

My Thesis Journal & Notebook

When I completed my Honours thesis in 2009, my ‘sister-in-law’ advised me to keep a journal as a way of tracking my progress, taking random notes, brainstorming ideas, and so on. I tried this time around (with my Masters thesis) to keep an online journal, but it soon floundered. I found myself constrained by the virtual environment – plus, it was clearly failing at indulging my love of stationery!

My Thesis Journal


Cover (with the starting date for this particular notebook)

After forking out $2 for a composition board notebook* at my local Officeworks (and beginning to feel a little lot like Harriet the Spy) I pre-numbered every page in the book. I also created a grid-style table of contents (which needs updating and rejigging, now I’m a little further on in the process) to keep track of what was where in my journal. I find pre-numbering all of the pages keeps me from tearing out pages that aren’t so ‘perfect,’ thus allowing me to keep a consistent record of my progress, ideas, and notes.


Inside front cover (‘reward’ notice & thesis overview) | Table of Contents

The first pages I have glued in a print-out of my original, online journal

Consistency is also maintained by (trying) not to use white-out in the journal – crossing things out means I can still re-read what was written underneath.

Some things are glued into my journal, including some readings, emails from my supervisor, all of my mind maps, notes from web browsing, etc.:


Some daily notes and print outs from an NGV annual report


Daily notes and supervisor emails


Mindmapping my thesis topic/statement
I find it easier doing this by hand on blank A4 paper


Notes from web browsing (to do with note taking haha)

I keep blank scrap paper at the back of the notebook to scribble quick ideas on (like ‘capture’ pages). I also have an A5 sleeve (page protector) in which I stash random print outs, notes, etc:

Using a notebook/journal as part of the process of creating my Masters thesis allows me a lot of flexibility as to where and when I can fit in some nerd time. When I purchased this notebook, I made sure it would fit in the majority of bags I use which allows me to take it everywhere (including places I can’t easily use my laptop or access the internet).


Writing in my journal at Muffin Break while waiting for Dan to finish work

Resources

Endnotes

* I have never seen composition board books in Australia and have always wanted one. Unfortunately, it looks like Officeworks have sold out in store and you don’t get to choose the design/style on the website.

Gallery Visitors of the Future


Image source

I realised I hadn’t posted my MA thesis topic anywhere on my blog. Basically, my thesis will combine two of my major interests: curatorship / public programming in galleries and child development / learning. Right now, the topic is as follows:

Engaging with the Gallery Visitors of the Future
Building relationships with the gallery visitors of the future by encouraging positive gallery experiences for child visitors today: a comparison of children’s programs provided by the National Galleries of Australia and Victoria.

Do you think this is a topic worthy of investigation?

What experiences do you remember of art galleries as a child? Have these past experiences impacted on your visits today?

How do you feel visiting galleries (as an adult) at the same time as groups of children or parents?

Do you take your children to galleries?
What do you think they gain from the experience?