It’s Good To Be Back

Hello and welcome! It’s 2023! It’s good to be back!

Within a few hours of hitting the ‘publish’ button on the quick ‘I’m on Twitter’ post I did on Dec 14th 2022 I was shivering under a blanket on the sofa feeling very, very sorry for myself. Little did I know then that I was coming down with the flu – yes, proper flu 🙁 In typical rollercoaster fashion this would take me a full month to properly recover. In fact we all got at Chez Roberts, but thankfully those who’d had their jabs were not quite so ill as I was. Annoyingly, for some reason that still escapes me, 2022 was the first winter in years I’d not popped to Boots to get myself jabbed. Mercifully we live and learn.

Whilst being ill and convalescing I got a fair amount of reading done, which was both satisfying and enjoyable. In that time I also feel like I got to grips with RefWorks too, which I’m told by others more experienced than I, is an essential tool in the PhD kit. Yay, good for me!

Feeling much better, today I resolved to not work from home, but instead get on my bike, on to campus, and behind a desk in the Charles Street building. Room 12.1.16 is rapidly becoming one of my fav places to work. It’s quiet, but not silent – the big windows overlook Arundal Gate, so there is a constant buzz of people, traffic and weather which I find rather pleasant. The chairs are proper office chairs, the desks are clean and clear, the computer works (mostly), it’s warm and distraction free – basically everything I don’t have when working from home. Nice! So, aside from a bit of catching up on unread emails, most of the day (11AM – 6PM) was at my disposal.

My focus has been getting to grips with my first assessment, deadline 20th February. The task, part of the Critical Thinking in Business Administration module I studied in October 2022, is a 5000-7000 assignment with the title:

“Philosophical underpinnings for business and management research will depend on the topic chosen”. Discuss this proposition in relation to your own research aims and objectives

The assessment criteria includes showing awareness of philosophical positions, understanding of epistemological and ontological issues, alternative ways of engaging with your research topic and making epistemological/ontological choices and much more… Suffice to say, right now, I’m feeling overwhelmed and intimidated. It has been a lllloooonnnggg time since I last wrote a structured essay of this length, and (frankly) I’ve not left myself a huge amount of time to get it done. Hey ho.

Today I’ve mostly been mining a fantastic online journal I discovered recently called the Journal of Deliberative Democracy – focusing on articles which explore the epistemology of democracy. It was a ‘postmodernism’ keyword search which returned what I think were the richest results. Interestingly, during the module we did the HARP Heightening your Awareness of your Research Philosophy reflexive tool designed by Bristow and Saunders, and postmodernism was at the top.

Also as an undergraduate, my by far favourite module was a 3rd year ‘Theories of Postmodernism’ romp through cities, culture, architecture and music. Mmmm, maybe postmodernism is something I will explore in more detail for the assignment….

Rightio – got to go. It’s time for tea back at the ranch. Sausages, potato wedges and baked beans coming right up. Bye for now!

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