Saturday, 6 July 2013

PhD: Explained

I'm now in my seventh month of my PhD study. I start to have a feeling that not many people really understand what PhD study is, what a PhD candidate is doing, etc. Well I don't even know what it is until I really experience it. I even made a "serious" blog post about how I understand PhD after I start doing it, but it's still in the draft section, I don't have the time and don't feel like continuing it yet now.

PhD Comics
This is a comics every PhD candidate would know, I suppose. In one of my class (for research students) I was talking to a guy and I came across PhD Comics, and he was like, "what ? what is it?" and I was stunned, "WHAT? You're PhD student but you don't know PhD Comics?" and then he answered "oh,no, I'm a master by research student." and i laughed, hahaha.. okay, so he's a master student.. well actually I knew this comics already since I was a master student.. but at that time the comics only portrayed about 50 % of my life... now it portrays almost 100 % of what I'm doing now :D.
Okay, so this is a "not-so-serious" explanation of how I see a PhD study, through my experience, of course. Don't generalize it :D.

Oh, one more time. Before I finalize this post, actually I accidentally deleted the draft of this post, which contains some comics I have categorized into theme. So I start over again, but this time on older comics. So maybe next time, if I have the time, I will search again over the newer comics, and make a Part-2 of this post :). Okay, let's start.

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Working hours
Normal working hours would be 8 hours a day. For us, because our job is result oriented, our working hours depends on our result :P. For me, I usually spend 7 hours working in the office, then continue for another 2 hours after Hanif is asleep. I still try to work on weekends because Hanif doesn't go to the childcare on Wednesdays, which mean I have to compensate these Wednesdays. (but temptation for not working on weekends is really strong -- see? this evening I blog instead of working :p).

See what the comic says about working hours.



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How 'holiday' is sometimes not holiday..
Still related to working hours. Based on my experience, there's no such thing as holiday (well, almost not?! :P)
I've been in the office several times on Saturdays; still meet a lot of PhD students working there.
I've been also in the office on Sunday (only once, I think); yes, still meet several PhD students working there. So let's see how this is explained through the comics.

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Research topic
For a PhD, you have to give a contribution (of knowledge??) to your research area.
I think that is what makes it different from "a job", roughly saying, in this job not only you have to work hard but also to make sure you're fast enough so that nobody will do the same thing as yours. I think this is something my supervisor said once, and he also mentioned that "finding that someone else has published it faster than you after your hard work,  is disappointing" (I think he used another word for 'disappointing' but I forget what word it is :P.

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Ha-ha! Now I'm happy that my research area is not a hot topic (even my co supervisor agrees with this :D. But he also mentions that then it would be easier to justify my contribution to the research area).
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"Holiday Break"..
My mum asked me if we would fly back home this festive holiday and she asked me "but haven't you got a holiday?"
Well apart from the fact that actually the religious holiday in my country is not celebrated here -- which mean there will be no Lebaran holiday here in Australia, still, it seems that it might be hard to really enjoy the holiday (if I haven't produced any satisfactory result..)
well, sometimes I imagine if I really fly back home during "the holiday break", I might act like the one on the comics below, haha...
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see the comics below :P.. and see the reaction of the first year student. And although I'm a first year grad student, I don't react like the one in the comics (though I hope maybe? :P)

okay, so this is Part 1. There might be Part 2 and 3 and so on...
stay tuned! see you later! and wish us luck! :)

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