RQ Series: Break time

Source: Here

Been wondering where this doctoral student disappeared to? Actually, whether she might have disappeared? Oh, yes. She did. I disappeared from my field and from my actual day-to-day business of doing research.
The truth is, after eight months of thinking about this research, reading a lot, getting critics on numerous proposal drafts, reading again, designing my methodology, conducting fieldwork, and getting data home – I was tired – and  I needed to break this time.
Tired can mean two things: one, is that I am tired of this selfish three-year project, and would want to quit, and second; I am physically and emotionally tired and need to take time to refresh and revitalise myself. The latter is true. I had to do so, because I felt I did not have much energy to pull through the fieldwork drama.
I have taken two months to get new energy and new insights into my research purpose. I am breaking time by undertaking a million other errands I had put on hold the last eight months.
But most importantly, I took off because I had achieved by June, most of the fieldwork objectives I had myself to at the beginning of the academic year. These included collecting 80% of the data, and outlining how my thesis would look like in the future. The reality is that I had failed by 70% on other goals I had set. I had not been consistent in reading and writing- the core of a PHD lifestyle.
So since June, I have been reading and writing. Believe me, it has been exciting time. I have read and written a lot of what my DPhil does not entail, and I still continue doing so through the month of July. I have found some interesting projects to undertake in the last two months that have been challenging my mind outside the doctoral project but within my career aspirations. I have been travelling to meet people in my wider scope of work. I have been helping people design their life projects- professional and personal. Additionally, I have been taking numerous self-taught courses, online, orally and even including some stupid ones like how to use a snipping tool J
In short, I have been on a break from the long days of field that always follow endless hours of phone calls. I have been on break from reviewing field journal notes, asking for my assistants to submit the transcriptions.

But: I have not taken a break from my passion – to make something meaningful out of my doctoral research experience. Every day of this journey, I write something new on my field journal. It’s how I break time. 


  1. Grace, you were good in your thing back in the day and am pleased you've grown even better. I'm particularly touched by your opinion about books. Needless to say I speak from a position of authority,not as an academic like the blogger here, but as a victim of that lethargic feeling familiar with many Africans when the subject of books come up.
    See, you are on a journey,bound for a far far place;keep going. The few you inspire on your journey through this platform and otherwise have a choice to move or to stay. As for me I choose the journey...
    So happy for you Grace

    1. Henry, thanks for your kind words. I do remember those days in school. It was a tough time but a great time for us too. And we have all made it in own ways, and nobody knows the great things ahead. So let's keep on this journey!


Post a Comment