I am now a Ph.D candidate

Well, after last week’s stagnancy, this week seemed a torrent of developments. First and foremost, I received my MSc and so got onto the PhD programme. There was some politics behind the scenes with the marking, but I don’t think that it is right to go into detail here and now. Let’s just say, it was a close run thing, but I did well enough to get the PhD scholarship, though not as well as I had expected to.

I shall present an overview of my MSc research shortly. For now, though, I’m still reeling from the avenues that are now open to me: publication, teaching and presenting at conferences. I have a couple of tentative possible opportunities for publication already, and my supervisor is encouraging me to try and present next summer.

At Edinburgh University, post-graduates don’t begin tutoring until they’ve passed their first-year board: for me, that means there won’t be any tutoring work until January 2012. By that time, however I will have started teaching elsewhere. That’s my other good news. I’ve lined up a job teaching at the Office of Lifelong Learning, commencing September next year. Two ten-week courses for adult learners, An Introduction to the New Testament, and 20th Century Alternative Spiritualities. Oh, and I have to write the courses too.

When I began studying 6 years ago, I had a plan. That plan has altered somewhat along the way (the MSc was never part of it, although I’m now glad I did it, starting the PhD without it would have been daunting), but fundamentally, it worked, and I’m now commencing on the penultimate phase. (The final phase is, of course, getting a job.) The next year should see me teaching, probably publishing and possibly presenting – in other words, all the things that academics do.

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