Thursday, June 10, 2010

Who, why and what

Well, hello.

I read two things today and decided to start a blog about my PhD.

The first was "Ten Reasons Why Grad Students Should Blog". I was obviously convinced. Then secondly, a quote was tweeted: "If you can't state it simply, you don't know it well enough". So how well do I know my PhD topic?

So here's who I am and what I'm doing:

ME: PhD student in Linguistics. I studied Bachelor of Arts (Spanish) and Diploma of Languages (French), including a year's exchange in France. I then did Honours in French. I worked for a year, feeling somewhat uninspired, and so decided to start Postgrad Linguistics just so I could teach English overseas. I enjoyed the first semester and decided to extend to a year for the better qualification and teaching classes. And then I thought I may as well finish Masters (by coursework). But I filled out the wrong form and got offered a place in Masters by Research, which I hadn't realised was a course. I started March 2009, I'm now just over a year in, and I've upgraded to a PhD. So I could call this blog "The Accidental PhD" but I won't.

MY RESEARCH: My research topic is officially "Academic Literacies in University Music Students" but I like to call it "Literacy and all that jazz". I've studied a group of six jazz honours performance students, focussing on their 5000 word Research Projects. I'll write another day about the nuances of performance students and jazz students, but as a brief intro, I'm currently interested in how they incorporate music notation into their writing and how they write about music.

THE CONSEQUENCES: At this point, I don't know. I hope that my research will help music students. I've got a great claim to originality as I can't find manyone who has looked at writing about music or incorporating music notation into writing. The downside means there's a lot of work I'll have to do myself and my research is likely to be just introductory research. As I'm sure is the case for everyone, on my good days my research is exciting and fascinating. On my bad days I'm convinced that I'm the only one who will ever be interested in my topic.

So that's me and my research. May discussion and academic intrigue ensue!

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