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Counting on Frank...

is the Librarian's favourite book and I am having fun with numbers. If I need to write 320 paragraphs to complete my thesis then I have written approximately 120 since February this year in four chapters and 2 part chapters. This weekend I have written the princely total of 16 which is a good weekend's work. By Christmas my aim is the halfway mark (160) and by then I should have my study back.
After it was home to two daughters in quick succession, I am now happy to relinquish my indoor study to the grandsons and the train set and go back to the Bungalow (aka 'Butterfly House' due to my propensity for having the heater on high) refurbished and repainted with desk, sofa bed and quiet.

Celebrating Mooroolbark

Lovely to have a small commission (unpaid) to sidetrack the PhD: Celebrating Mooroolbark. Normally I submit to magazines and journals and hope they accept my work but this is the first time I have taken time out from research for some time to undertaken work that has been commissioned. Asked to write a section of this book using newspaper articles diligently collected and collated by the Mooroolbark Historical Society to a tight deadline was a challenge! Submitted by October 1st. Book Launch 25th & 26th October - definitely cutting it fine! Of course, I lived in Mooroolbark, taught at Red Earth Cluster Schools and attended a number of Red Earth Festivals with the girls so it wasn't as if I was writing about an unfamiliar topic. A pleasure to write, as some-one else had done the 'backbreaking' research in the archives and presented me with two large folders. A first book for MHS and I am sure not the last!

How to complete a PhD, work full-time and still have a family life...

Well.. after my last despondent post every-one may feel correct in assuming I wasn't managing any of the above. But PhD writer's block doesn't equate with time management issues. When I my PhD began my good friend R2 (that makes me R1 as in Scrabble) suggested 20 hours a week was the requirement for part-time PhD so that's what I do. I kept a log for a while to make sure I was on track but as with all similar procrastination activities the excel spreadsheet sits dormant on the desktop.
Here's my grand plan. Not particularly innovative.  Small chunks. Bit by bit. Nibble away. Concentrated effort at times of low work pressure; full-time for 50% of holidays and whatever-whenever for the rest. At least 5-6 hours on the weekend if full-time work is full-on. Bite size bits....research via TROVE, reading an article, writing a paragraph, interviewing by phone... can all be done in chunks. A hour here. An hour there. Chunk by chunk it is coming together. 30000 words and 6 fo…

A third of the way through a PhD and sort-of-stuck

I happily completed a chapter last month with a Cheshire Cat smugness, an article about toddler technology and a section of the Celebrate Mooroolbark! book making the October 1st deadline.  Sidetracked from the PhD, I have done other things with less success. My first turn at pushing WRM's pram did not engender confidence in my GM capabilities as I ran over the one large spikey thing that could puncture a tyre in the whole of Carlton.  A km from home, a flat tyre and a ready-for-a-feed-two-week old: pramming on 2 wheels is an experience I have no desire to re-try. Others were unhappy too!
Update: I have spent about 16 hours over the past 4 days writing refining the introductory first paragraph to my next chapter - yes... just the first paragraph of 5 - 6,000 words and have 188 words that I am happy with. A snail's pace. I feel like crying too, Wills!

'Think and wonder, wonder and think.' Dr. Seuss

My grandchildren have been born into a highly technical world, growing up as the first of the ‘Touch’ Generation. As toddlers they will never know a world without digital cameras, computers, DVDs, iPads and Smartphones or Skype. Discussion often centres on the impact of new technologies on teenagers but toddlers also have access to a wide range of multiple media. I note, with wonder and concern, that the pre-schooler in the café using mum’s Smartphone is becoming a distinctly savvy consumer.  Long-term research on the effects of the use of digital devices and how they may shape the developing brains of small children is inconclusive. Despite any concerns parents might have, technology is not only here to stay but is progressing at an alarming rate.  My favourite Australian companies creating aps for children include: Giggle Kids for littlies and Blue Quoll for my older nieces and nephews who love the language feature that reads the tales in another language. And ... my favorite Christ…

Another PhD distraction

With 30% of first draft writing completed time for another small distraction in the form of Grandson Number 2: William Ross who is I day old, cousin to Xavier who is now 3 months and 1 day old.

Fairy tales told in the bush

Looking at inscriptions I became fascinated with trying to find out more about Sister Agnes and whether she may have known Ernst.  Spending a day trying to track down information about her I found 4 small articles, three in the recently digitised Healesville and Yarra Glen Guardian. Fairy Tales told in the Bush was published in1911.What is interesting is that she writes under her ordained name of Sister Agnes. Sister Agnes was the Superintendent of the Diocesan Mission to the Streets and Lanes of Melbourne, and also Superintendent of St. Mark's Mothers' Union, Fitzroy.  "Fairy Tales told in the Bush," was pronounced as the 'ideal gift book for children' and was 'well illustrated' . Interestingly, it was published in London, and the proceeds of the sale went to Sister Agnes' city mission work. In a very 'Melbourne' touch her book is a Friday Night Special at Myers - discounted from 2 shillings to 1 and 6 pence (Display Advertising. 1918, Se…