PhD status – November 2012

For tomorrow, I have hundreds of pages to read on regionalism and provinces in Canada. I also have a paper to finish and a slideshow to complete for the Massey coffeehouse. Upcoming, I have two presentations: one on climate change for my environmental politics course, and another on citizen engagement and civil society for my Canadian politics seminar. I have reading to do to prepare for tutoring on Sunday, sixty undergraduate international relations papers to grade, a divestment campaign to plan for Toronto, books to finish and review, piles of unanswered electronic and physical correspondence, and (at least theoretically) doctoral research to work on, along with two term papers.

I left the civil service largely because my time was used so badly there, with government attention rarely being devoted to matters of importance. School does still involve some trivial busy work – along with tasks that are necessary only for financial sustenance rather than intellectual advancement. Still, the ratio between time spent working on matters of importance and time spent on meaningless nonsense is a lot better as a PhD student than as a civil servant.

That said, I can’t say I am totally sure that a PhD program is an intelligent way to use five years of one’s life. The social interaction at Massey College has definitely been the best part of the doctorate so far. The continued opportunity to get to know Massey people is probably the strongest factor motivating me to continue with the degree at this point.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

4 thoughts on “PhD status – November 2012”

  1. I echo Ryan’s implicit suggestion of getting fresh air and exercise. Consider doing some of your work outside, for example reading and marking papers. Excercise is also so enrgizing that it can leave you with more energy, besides being lots of fun.

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