Friday, December 21, 2012

Submission and Acknowledgements

Yesterday, on 20 / 12 / 2012, I submitted my thesis.

I don't know what I'm going to do with this blog.

I don't know what I'm going to do for a job.

I still have to get results and do revisions and who knows how long that will take.

But I thought it was worth making my acknowledgements public because what's the use of thanks hidden in a book somewhere they're not going to see?

So here they are. A huge thank you to everyone mentioned.


Thanks must go to my primary supervisor, Dr Peter Mickan, for his constant belief and encouragement, and to my secondary supervisor, Dr Jenny Rosevear.
For the analysis of this thesis, I’d also like to particularly thank external experts for providing generous advice and feedback: Dr Karl Maton on Legitimation Code Theory and Dr Lexie Don on Appraisal Theory.
For the writing of this thesis, I must thank and acknowledge my hoard of marvellous proof readers who willingly edited in return for this thanks and, at most, a picture of a puppy: Dr Nayia Cominos, Alex Price, Rachel Mullan, Claire Simpson-Smith, Rosie Lovell, Emily Heylen, Jess Scott, Shari Lapthorne, Nick Coutts, and Alexia Moncreiff.
For the PhD experience, I’d like to thank past office-mates Dr Hiromi Teramoto, Dr Celine Chu and Margareta Rebelos for going before me. Thanks also go to: the various Shut Up and Write teams – virtual and real life – for helping to churn words out; Signature CafĂ© for consistently excellent motivational coffee; and the twitter-folk who willingly followed my ramblings as jazzlinguist, for constant and incessant support, sympathy and celebration at any time of day or night. Special thanks to Maria Ioannou for motivational coffees and tomato-based productivity, and to Johanna Motteram as office-mate and co-conspirator for world conquest.
Particular thanks to the Honours Jazz Performance students for participating in my research.
Lastly the greatest thanks must go to my brother, Jeremy Martin, for answering random music- and jazz-related questions, for providing technical music support, and most importantly for inspiring this research. And to my parents, for encouraging me to aim for a floppy hat, and for being so extremely generous in their support, particularly during this final year.
All these people contributed to the best parts of this thesis; any remaining mistakes are entirely my own.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't ask about the thesis thunderstorm

I have been neglecting this blog in favour of my thesis and so it has become merely a repository for small things that amuse me, generally centring on the PhD experience because, let's face it, that's all there is to my life at the moment. So when my friend lent me her iPad the other day to play with an app I had begged her to download so I could play with it, I of course drew this image which has been in the back of my head for months:

Now I desperately need an iPad just so I can download the Paper by 53 app! If anyone wants to buy me one I'd be most grateful!

For the record, I don't mind too much if people ask about my thesis, just check the rules

Monday, October 1, 2012

Eulogy for a deadline

We are gathered here today to witness the passing of yet another deadline.

September 30th was a dearly-loved deadline and one which added much-needed urgency to thesis writing. Right until its timely end it continued to motivate and drive writing. Its sacrifice has and will continue to make the thesis a better, more thorough document, and ultimately increases its chances of being successful.  In remembering this submission date, at this time we also remember March 30th and June 30th, deadlines who have passed but are not forgotten.

Please join me in a minute's silence in honour of this and all deadlines which have passed for the greater purpose of the PhD.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thesis writing doodles

I've been doodling a bit lately, much to my own surprise. Here's a few inspirations I had in the midst of a thesis writing productivity spurt.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

12 days of thesis

12 days ago @drjavafox tweeted that she was 12 days away from submitting her thesis. With that kind of prompt what could @heatherfro and I do but add this bit of silliness to the repertoire:

On the first day of thesis my advisor gave to me: an annotated bibliography

On the second day of thesis my advisor gave to me: two examiners and an annotated bibliography
On the third day of thesis my advisor gave to me: three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the fourth day of thesis my advisor gave to me: four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the fifth day of thesis my advisor gave to me: FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the sixth day of thesis my advisor gave to me: six meltdowns, FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the seventh day of thesis my advisor gave to me: seven all-nighters, six meltdowns, FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the eighth day of thesis my advisor gave to me: eight computer breakdowns, seven all-nighters, six meltdowns, FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the ninth day of thesis my advisor gave to me: nine formatting issues, eight computer
breakdowns, seven all-nighters, six meltdowns, FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the tenth day of thesis my advisor gave to me: ten appendices, nine formatting issues, eight computer breakdowns, seven all-nighters, six meltdowns, FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography
On the eleventh day of thesis my advisor gave to me: eleven forgotten references, ten appendices, nine formatting issues, eight computer breakdowns, seven all-nighters, six meltdowns, FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

On the twelfth day of thesis my advisor gave to me: twelve hard bound copies, eleven forgotten
references, ten appendices, nine formatting issues, eight computer breakdowns, seven all-nighters, six meltdowns, FIVE REVISIONS! four dropbox folders, three notebooks, two examiners and an annotated bibliography

Saturday, August 11, 2012

PhD blues

Seriously people, stop suggesting PhD analogies to me. I've already got the twelve days of thesis brewing and then somebody suggested "PhD blues". Then this happened. Entertainingly, when I tweeted it I got one spam tweet suggesting how I can make money, one tweet of encouragement possibly missing the fact the tweet rhymed and one "... is that a song?" So, with many apologies, I give you, the PHD BLUES.

Some people say
That I'm a smart sort
They think I'm alright
When it comes to thought

But what do they know?
I've got them all fooled
I can't write my thesis
I got the PhD blues

Got the phd blues keep me up all night
Got a half-finished thesis I just can't write
I'm all outta money I'm all outta time
If I want my doctorate I must first lose my mind

Monday, July 30, 2012


I'm at the pointy end of my degree which means thesis-guilt is working overtime and restraining me from writing many blogposts. However, in the interests of self-promotion, and also in the interests of sharing the process with other students, I am going to write about my publications. After all, it is an exciting thing and my policy is to celebrate everything at this stage in the PhD!

My first two publications were published in the conference proceedings of ISFC (International Systemic Functional Congress) a couple of weeks ago. I've uploaded my papers individually to my page and you can check both them and the slideshow I used for the Star Wars-themed paper here:

Paper: "The Jazz is strong in this one: presentation and positioning of knowers in performance student texts"

Paper: "Instantiation, realisation and multimodal musical semantic waves"

It was great to finally change two of the five "(forthcoming)" publications on my CV to "(2012)". Ironically they're my most recent work and my two forthcoming articles of earlier work will be published after them. But that's the way it works.

As conference proceedings they aren't the most valued form of publication. They were, however, double-refereed (i.e. two separate people had to sign off that they were decent enough for publication) so that adds some legitimacy and helps my self-belief in moments of doubt. They also provide handy bite-sized chunks of my thesis which already I've found useful for my own reference as well as getting my work out there while the thesis is still 'in preparation'.

In case you're wondering at yoda's presence, the conference theme was "to boldly go" and so the proceedings papers are titled "to boldly proceed". As the Star Trek slogan, this obviously is, in fact, at odds with my Star Wars-references and for that I must apologise, but when it came down to it Star Wars was just too useful an analogy for what I was describing. In between the proceedings paper and the slideshow you can almost imagine you were at my presentation - the only things you miss out on are the lightsaber sound effects and the jazz cover of Imperial March. (Check out the Imperial March - it's funky and I had it in my head for days!)

I did consider that perhaps writing these papers was a waste of time that would be better spent working on my thesis. However I found that working in a really constrained text - they are each only about 3000 words long (undergrads - HOW DO YOU DO IT?!) - really helped me get a better grasp on what I was working on in the immense monstrosity that is the thesis. Having abundant room to write about a topic sometimes makes the big picture perspective really hard to attain, so the exercise in conciseness really helped.

Excitingly I should have my first journal article published soon too. I received the proofs a couple of weeks ago and totally geeked out over the design and formatting. It really is aesthetically pretty. When that comes out I'm sure I'll announce here too. Another article may be published online in the next six months, or may take 12-18 months. Ironically that one details my earliest work. Oh well.

At this point I was going to write about my experience of writing publications, but I think that's best saved for a separate post as it's likely to drag on. In the meantime, check out my publications if you've been thinking, "Sure she can make pretty slideshows, but how good is her research?!"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Visual Resume

Visual resume: Jodie Martin
View more presentations from Jodie Martin

Why a visual resume? I have made a visual resume to supplement my traditional resume and as a demonstration of those skills which may not come across in the normal CV format. If you'd like a copy of the regular resume, just let me know!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rules for interacting with a thesis writer

Since I posted DON'T ASK about MY THESIS signs all over the place, particularly Facebook, and subsequently added You Can Ask Me About My Health or the Weather, again all over Facebook, I love that people have been pointedly asking me how I am or mentioning the weather rather than ask me about my thesis. It's particularly amusing because the slump which really drove the first poster passed soon after it, so I don't mind too much if people ask. So I thought it was worth offering some more pointed information. Here are some rules I have just made up; the brief version is to stick to number one, but if you feel prepared, you can continue on to the others.


1. Don't ask about the thesis between:
six months before it's "due" until twelve months after it was due. An alternative question is to ask "How are you going?" or "How's it going?"; if they want to mention the thesis, they will, but they will be grateful not to be specifically asked for the hundredth time

2. Don't ask about the thesis if:
You're uncomfortable with displays of emotion, particularly weeping, stress and the kermit-the-frog-like waving of hands.

3. Don't ask about the thesis if:
You don't have time for a lengthy conversation. If you're passing in the hallway, or just ran into each other in the street, don't ask. It forces us to say "good" and then feel guilty.

4. If you have asked about the thesis:
And received a lengthy expression of stress, doubt and despair, please listen to our concerns and don't offer sweepingly generalised assurances of "she'll be right" based solely on your good opinion of us. It's possibly true but is easy to dismiss that you don't really know how little we have achieved or how much we have to do.

5. Ask about the thesis if:
You are doing or have done a thesis. The sympathetic listener is much preferred. However as one of the community, you are more likely to receive the long version, so return to rule number 3.

If you do not ask me about my thesis, if you don't judge me for it taking longer than it seems like it should, if you give me space to talk about or not talk about my thesis as I wish, in return I promise to broadcast to you and the world when I do submit.

And, as always, PhD Comics has come up with a better way to represent it:

How a PhD is like the Big Bang Theory

I uploaded this slideshow the other day:
How a PhD is like The Big Bang Theory
View more presentations from Jodie Martin

I originally created it last year at some point, around the same time as I made the "How a PhD is like Alice in Wonderland" slideshow. But I uploaded it the other day as I was talking to a friend who's also working on her thesis. She's just hit the point where she's confident enough to write "This thesis discusses" rather than "this thesis aims to discuss" and "this chapter will demonstrate" rather than "this chapter will aim to demonstrate". So I showed her this slideshow because I've been noticing in my writing too - I sometimes have to consciously cut out the hedging and write confidently. But still as I go back over what I wrote yesterday, I find needless circumlocutions, self-doubting statements and excessive mitigation. So while this is by no means a deep or particularly creative slideshow, it is a useful reminder for me that just because publications read as if they're written by Sheldon, didn't mean the first draft didn't sound like Leonard. Hope you enjoy. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Work hard

When I graduate I want this poster:

It was available in red. Blue would be ideal. By Anthony Burrill.

I've been thinking a lot lately about discipline and happiness, about work ethic and procrastination, about what drives us and what drags us down. It's definitely true for the PhD. So I think if you can live up to this poster then you will have lived your life well. So that's what I want on my wall.

And then I should probably pair it with this one:

From Etsy

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Word Fairy and the Word Goblin

I've made some important conceptual development on my thesis so I'm rewarding myself by writing a light-hearted blog post. The fact that I need to start with that explanation is indicative of the lingering sense of guilt and defensiveness I feel.

The Word Fairy is a mythical creature who drops bright and shiny and erudite-looking words (such as 'erudite') into your head as you're writing. These are often little-used words, whose meaning you're not exactly sure of. It's always best to check the Word Fairy's suggestions in a dictionary as sometimes they will be completely wrong, but you'll still want to use them because they seem such a good word. Often it takes many readings for the shininess of the word to wear off and as you're reading it you'll get a self-congratulatory buzz for using such a big, important-looking word and thus being a big, important-sounding person.

The Word Goblin is the nemesis of the Word Fairy. Rather than deliver sparkling gems of words, it takes them somewhere between the tip of your tongue and your typing fingers, leaving only the ghostly impression that there is a word for that. Sometimes, sadly, there isn't and the Word Goblin is the much maligned victim of a lexical gap.

*Original idea by Debbie Prior

Friday, May 25, 2012

Keep keeping calm

After the popularity of DON'T ASK about MY THESIS I thought I'd post the other posters I've made, that are on my office wall.

Keep calm and keep writing - The most important message:

Shut up and write - when keep calm and keep writing doesn't work anymore:

If you have "Don't ask about my thesis" on the wall, you may want this one next to it:

Here are "Keep calm and keep writing" and "Don't ask about my thesis" together here as one picture. I have this as my desktop wallpaper at the moment.

All these posters were made by me with Keep Calm app by Barter Book.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Calvin & Hobbes and the PhD

This was in Sunday's paper and kinda summarises the whole PhD thing. With both linguistics and LCT, you learn a bit then it infiltrates your thinking. You have the view and the vocabulary to identify and describe the problems behind that vague feeling of something being wrong. And then you have an obligation to do something about it.

Trying to talk about Legitimation Code Theory

Inspired by a conversation with a friend and her husband on the weekend when they asked about a book chapter I had been writing.

Friday, April 20, 2012


My gift to beleaguered and besieged thesis-writers everywhere:

Made by me with Keep Calm app by Barter Books which tells the story of the original "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster as well as giving you the AWESOME ability to make your own posters!

@stair on twitter suggested there should be business cards of this to hand out to people. WE NEED THIS!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Knitting as the non-smoker's pipe-smoking

I tweeted one day:

"I should take up knitting! It's like the non-smoker's version of pipe smoking. I'll sit in my armchair and knit and think."

And unlike a lot of such things I tweet, I actually did take up knitting, much to my grandmother's delight. Well I say delight; she keeps saying "you must be able to knit" then fixing my dropped stitches and teaching me to purl. There are three advantages: 1) it doesn't require much concentration; 2) it's not a computer; 3) I can quite happily suck at it.

1) It doesn't require much concentration

Of course this wasn't the case at first but eventually I achieved my lofty dream of sitting in an armchair, knitting and thinking deep thoughts. I'm sure there are many proverbs and literary quotes referring to busy hands which totally escape me at the moment. This is nothing new I've discovered and I don't claim that it is. I'm one of those people who sometimes concentrates better with music - it's like I need to distract part of my brain so the rest of it can get on and do stuff.

2) It's not a computer

With my iPhone as my default go-to for queues, bus trips and distractions, it's nice to not activate whatever part of the brain responds to bright lights, to not risk distraction by numerous bells, chimes and whistles signalling who-knows-what. And it's nice to have something tangible at the end of it, the very existence of which tracks the passing of time. Because I can spend hours on the computer or iPhone and everything would reset at the end. But I can't be stuffed knitting that long and I can't knit more than a few rows before I'm satisfied and/or inspired to do something else. Maybe this is yet a budding addiction, though. Either which way, it is very clear that the rows have been knitted, that the scarf is growing and that time has passed.

3) I can quite happily suck at it

To my grandmother's perplexion, I take great pleasure in how bad I am at it; it seems appropriate to have holes and pulled threads and unevenness and unintentionally gained stitches. I'm not knitting to be a knitter, and as I have a friend whose PhD in Art is knitting I definitely have a sense of perspective on this. I'm calling it my "legitimation scarf" as I started it listening to seminars on Legitimation Code Theory, continued it writing my thesis which legitimates me as a researcher, and finally if I eventually finish it, it might, despite my earlier disavowel, make me a knitter by being the only piece of knitting I've ever finished in my life, in comparison to the half-dozen times between 5 and 22 that I took up knitting only to give up after a few inches, with a few more random balls of fancy wool I over-ambitiously bought.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 13, 2012

Every presentation ever

I return to my theme of advocating non-coma-inducing presentations with this video. I'm ignoring the sale at the end, but it's got some good points. We all know when a presentation sucks. We don't all know when we suck at presenting. And we don't always know how to stop it sucking. But here's to greater awareness!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If Doctor Who was a linguist

People assume that language is a strict connection between object and name, between meaning and word, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... semioticky semanticky... stuff.