Tuesday, November 28, 2006

haciendo las maletas / packing one´s bags

first off, thanks to "anon" who posted their recommendation re RefWorks. In fact, I had registered for RefWorks some weeks prior to attending the EndNote training (I had registered for said training within the first days that I´d arrived here,but that is merely an interesting anecdote). Be that as it may, I wanted to use/experience the utilities available, so as to compare, etc. You already know where that little venture led me. Suffice to say that I have since started to use RefWorks, which is useful especially if your home institution is a partner site. Also useful even if your home institution is not a partner site. But I haven´t used it extensively (yet).

okay, "haciendo las maletas": last week i had a grad seminar where i was expected to put my half-baked research thoughts on display. doing the latter was a bit out of the ordinary for me, since in the stuff i´ve done thusfar, people have always left me, more or less, to my own devices. this is not to say that i didn´t have feedback, nor inputs, etc. in the past. of course, i´ve had, and i´m glad to have worked with the persons i have worked with, but to date i´ve always been further along in my thought process before having to give them a public airing (okay, semi-public, since it was still in-house). when we´d arrived to start the DPhil, Max, one of our 2nd year DPhil comrades, had said "interdisciplinary research is hard". bueeeeeno. he was right. but as i spoke on friday something dawned on me: one´s tendency, in formulating a dphil problem worthy of doctoral endeavour, is to try and bring together somehow one´s varied interests of the past years, or all of one´s academic training, but maybe part of the trick is to decide what to bring along and what to leave behind. almost like packing one´s bags when moving/relocating. actually, it is more like relocating countries, since if you´re moving with-in country you can always take more stuff with you, or go back easily enough to fetch the things you´ve left behind. not so with moving to another country, in that you are forced to decide what should stay and what should go. similarly, in research this is so. or should be so. you can´t pack in everything you´ve learnt, so what to leave behind???? seems obvious, no? the irresistible thing for me is that there are definite recurring threads which i would want to weave into this doctoral endeavour, but it isn´t clear if that would be "too much", or result in a work which is "too broad, with not enough depth", etc. oh, no, i start to sound like that boring person´s blog i´d happened across last year sometime. it was a person who wrote about the daily ins-and-outs of their doctoral research. did not make for compelling stuff, truth be told...

where is my muse? ¿dónde está la musa? Me ha abandonado. Pues, este tema se trata de lo siguiente: durante mi estancia en Madrid, estaba escribiendo mensualmente (casi), reportajes de mi vida como madrileña. Me mudé a Inglaterra y... nada. No creo que es culpa del ambiente, el tiempo, etcétera. Me acuerdo bien de las maneras en que ocurrieron las ideas, las frases, las escenas graciosas, de las cuales que apunté al final para mis lectores. Y ya. Por cierto hay costumbres por aquí que son muy distintas de las de mi país, o de las de España, pero me muero un poco con la falta total de ganas de apuntarlas. Pueda que, al fondo, tener que ver, no con los rasgos del país por dónde estoy, sino con el cambio total de mi punto de vista del mundo -- lo que ha ocurrido el verano pasado. De veras, este cambio es algo que lamento, pero bueno, el mundo cambia, y nosotr@s mism@s cambiamos también, bien sea por nuestra voluntad o no.


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