Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Science Blogs (and my usual rumbling)

I ve always had an interest in reading, but since I have a daily internet connection I tend to read blogs instead. When I find something interesting I might even read it in bed, as I would do with a book.
I read anything and everything, from horror stories, to personal blogs. I like reading books such as Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, or even Heidi by Johanna Spyri, but lately I have been reading scientific and PhD-related blogs, such as 'the thesis whisperer'.

Yesterday I found out about this blog which is written by 3 of my former lecturers! I especially enjoyed this post as it describes how bad a PhD can turn out to be, and reminds me of how good my supervisor is! I would like to take this opportunity to thank my main academic supervisor, and my main industrial supervisor for being so kind and understanding and helping me develop and have high expectations! I am lucky to have two people that are being so supportive and different at the same time. They put pressure on me when I need to perform, they 'lead by example', they let me take days off when I need to, but they expect me to perform well and excel at whatever task is given to me.

As a person, I always try my best to succeed. Through primary and high school I was always trying for good grades, I never had the best grades, and never tried too hard to achieve them, but I was content with my results. At university as an undergraduate I wanted to do and see as much as possible, I was in a different country, with different people, facing different situations and problems from what I was used to and I wanted to make the most out of it.

I believe I did. I tried hard to achieve good grades and good results, but I was not always on schedule; actually I rarely did have a schedule. That way I often did not find the time to complete my tutorials on time, or start that report early enough and was usually faced with tons of work to complete right before a deadline or exam.

Maybe a cause of my procrastination behaviour is that I never felt I was rewarded as much as I should have. I got used to the 85/100 and 95/100 that I was receiving at high school, and when after a month's worth of work and a 'perfect' first essay I got a 65, I was devastated. I might have not gotten a higher mark than that in my entire undergraduate degree. No actually, I did, I got a 72 for a report I wrote for one of the authors in the aforementioned blog, and I got a few very high marks at mathematics as well, throughout my 4 years.

I took a year out of university when I finished my Physics degree, where I taught maths and physics to teenagers, and I learned that rewarding effort and good results, even if that's with a smile, always works. People will tend to try more and achieve even better results. One of my students went from getting a 20% as an average to an 85% after 3 months.

After that year as you probably know by now, I applied for a couple of PhD projects and I am now enrolled in one. My current supervisor is so different compared to my undergraduate ones. He gave me such high marks for my first two pieces of work, that now I feel more pressure to organise myself to produce a better piece of work for him for my next task.

I actually sat down today to work on my first GANNT diagram, but decided to write a blog post first!

If you would like to share your phd blog with me, or blogs you are reading, please leave a comment.

Have a lovely pancake day, and give all your love to the women out there, it's Women's day as well!!
Oh and gentlemen, please make those pancakes for your women, don't let them cook today :)


The Physicist


  1. You brought out the big guns with the GANNT diagram :-o. I'm keeping that one locked away for a rainy day.

    What area of physics are you studying in?

  2. hehe im still trying to get my head around that one!

    I am currently in a civil engineering department, mainly analysing data for now :)

    What about you?