It seems somewhat strange to be writing a post that frankly is very unlikely to be read. I mean, I’ve just started this blog today and no-one (apart from WordPress and me) knows that it exists. That said, you have to start somewhere and so here I am in the first year of my PhD. When I returned to study as a mature student I had a tiny hope that this really might be the start of something, but at the same time the reality of juggling a family with studying meant that I sometimes felt this would be beyond me. I graduated in June 2016 with a 2:1 and was elated! The hours and the sacrifices all worth it. Wearing my gown and cap, and clutching my certificate was one of my happiest days.
Shortly after my graduation, I spotted a competitive PhD opportunity. After speaking to a few members of academic staff about my realistic chances I decided to apply. Drafting a research proposal was tough, particularly so as we’d also recently lost my Pops. I was elated to be shortlisted for interview, and then very sadly my beloved Mamere (grandmother) passed away with pneumonia. To say I was an emotional wreck for my interview is probably an understatement. I cried in the interview. Seriously, in the actual interview. In front of the three interviewers. My mind went blank. It was not my finest hour. I left the interview completely frustrated with my performance, with a deep feeling that I’d blown the best chance I had – this was the dream PhD in terms of research area and supervision, and I left feeling that I’d failed. Someone was going to get this PhD, and it wouldn’t be me. However, someone was looking after me, because the very next day I was emailed and offered the opportunity to start my PhD. From feeling the lowest I’d felt in a long time, I was suddenly over-joyed. And terrified.
I started in September, my research is concerned with Developmental Coordination Disorder within adults. Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects motor ability and coordination. It is not an acquired difficulty; onset is during the early developmental period. The difficulties experienced significantly affect activities of daily living – such as dressing, feeding oneself, and self-care tasks, which in turn can impact on numerous domains such as academic achievement and participation in social or sporting activities.
I’m under no illusion as to the amount of work I have to do to achieve my PhD, and that is where this blog comes in. I enjoy baking and I’m desperately trying to balance my research life with my family. Since I’ve started my PhD I’ve barely baked, and the family are starting to revolt, so I’ve set myself the task of baking something each weekend throughout 2017. As I don’t have 52 bakes planned, and I don’t particularly want to repeat a bake (this may change), I thought a blog would be an ideal way to log the bakes – and the success or failure of each one. I suspect that the blog may very well evolve in two strands, one being the baking, and the other probably reflections and an outlet for PhD frustrations too.
So, first bake of 2017…. what on earth will it be?