Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Why I declared support for 'Care Not Killing' today

Last Tuesday I went to a truly uplifting and inspirational presentation at the University of Leeds by Age UK. It was inspiring because it enabled me to see the 'bigger picture' of where my dementia research might fit into the world. I've been getting a bit lost in the nitty gritty of the detail and it made me see there are millions of people out there, who I could help, because I am looking into the reasons why some people who get dementia seem to slip through the social support networks of friends and family. The presentation was also incredibly upbeat. Yes, we have an ageing population - and isn't that fantastic? I truly believe that it - human longevity - is the greatest achievement of science. It's wonderful that people born when I was born can expect to live a good twenty years longer than people born when our great grandparents were born. OK, there is inequality which we must also do something about, but the progress in us living longer is truly astounding.

I got into correspondence with Age UK, saying how much I enjoyed the presentation and they asked me if I would consider blogging for them about my research, or related topics. And it made me think 'what can I blog about?' My research is in its infancy - in a way I am overwhelmed by what I feel we don't know. I don't feel in a position to start broadcasting to the world on my findings so far - there aren't any. But I feel passionately about a number of things that are related to ageing, one of those things is opposition to 'Dignitas'. I am sick of hearing about what a 'burden' older people are. Then I saw this article in the Telegraph today basically saying what a huge resource our pensioners are. Feeling I had to act with my feet to help say to older people 'you're worth it!' I then signed the declaration of support for Care not Killing. But I suppose I would support that wouldn't I? To expect anything less would be like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

How to diffuse 'PhD Panic'

  • talk to people
  • write lists
  • lipsyl
  • frankinscence oil
  • Read
  • Write
  • Think of Five Amazing Things - write them down (Count your blessings)
  • This;  is not a matter of life and death.  This is a PhD.  That's all.
  • Plan work as a project.
  • Break down topic or problem into doable tasks.  Put timescales on each task.
  • Get a sense of perspective. 
  • Go on a walk.
  • Have a short break
  • Remember your PhD is a journey, like any of life's journeys, it will have its ups and downs.  Appreciate the contours. 
  • When you get a breakthrough, write it down.
  • Remember this is a three year training position - the whole thing is you are getting trained.
  • Re-read what your supervisor has written to you.
  • And then re-read it again.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Top ten writing tips when you've just had a supervision

1) Prioritise : remember 1) health 2) family 3) PhD
2) Freewrite
3) Time yourself freewriting - and write this at the bottom of your work
4) Background reading for half an hour
5) Freewrite for 5 minutes on what you've just read
6) share your writing - present it to friends and family to help you learn it
7) write down learning points/academic arguments to discuss with supervisor at next supervision
8) plan training for the month
9) plan your main pieces of writing
10) schedule in freewriting time over the next week, at a time when you are most productive

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Writing tips when you haven't got much time to write

Break down tasks into doable chunks - how long will each task take?
Are you saying what you want to say?
Are your findings telling us what we know?
Spend one minute only on a particular task - then tick it off your list so you feel like you've accomplished something
Tick off a sentence when you are happy with it
Tick off a paragraph
use a thesaurus
Correct your typos
Re-read your favourite sections to help keep you motivated
Schedule enough time to do it, at a time when you are most productive
Re-read documents, if you're having problems motivating yourself re-read your best received work
Do some background reading of study skills and writing books
Get help
Listen to feedback
Book yourself on writing courses
Use dictation machine
Use positive self talk methods - 'My writing is improving and I am writing more productively each day'