Monthly Archives: October 2013

Just what I needed.

I have been suffering from post MSc blues.  After I handed my dissertation everything seemed to stop and it seemed I had nothing to do except wait around for the results.  This feeling has been made worse by the fact that I feel my host faculty don’t really want me as this semester is well under way and I still don’t have a desk.  If I don’t have a space I don’t work, so I have been doing my own thing.  My own thing has been fun, I am still working on creating web pages in PHP using data from an SQL database.  I have really enjoyed this, PHP is a lot of fun and seems to do so much.  I have always loved databases, especially relational ones as I think the power of linking is amazing.  Creating links and queries to get the right data out of the database is like magic.

So there I was, feeling a bit dispirited with the whole academic thing.  Picking up emails but not really taking much notice of them.  Receiving invites to Christmas parties and other events.  I have not received any indication of how good or bad my dissertation was, and I don’t think we will find out till November, but my gut feeling is that it was not as good as I would have liked.  Reading it I just see issues.  I was in desperate need of some motivation.

Exercise always helps, so I have started a regular exercise programme again.  When the MSc got really difficult (about two weeks before Christmas) I gave up on exercise as I seemed to need all the time I had just to get stuff done.  Writing my dissertation over the summer meant I was sat around snacking and not eating properly.  Although it has only been a few weeks I feel better already and am ready to tackle some of the emails and meetings I need to get done.  I am also up to looking at all the Christmas invites.

Yesterday I was still feeling academically depressed.  There seems to be no desk for me, however, my lovely colleagues in building 32 have told me about some hot desks I can use, which will be very useful and I intent to go to university regularly next week and get on with stuff.  Yesterday I heard The Life Scientific on BBC Radio 4 and it featured Dame Wendy Hall talking about Web Science and Southampton University.  Wendy talked about the lack of women in computer science.  I remember when I began life providing support for users in a bank the computer department had 246 people in it, there were 3 women including me.  When I moved into programming it was even worse.    I heard the programme in the morning and again in the evening.  Hearing Wendy talk about Web Science with enthusiasm reignited my passion and I realised how fortunate I am to be  in the position that I am in, I have the opportunity to study the best subject in the world, with the best people in the world at the best place in the world.  How lucky is that?  So I don’t have a desk, but it is not the end of the world, I can hot desk and get to sit next to new and interesting people.

Now to tackle those emails.