Well… since I am doing a PhD about interactive documentaries I thought I would also keep track of the very process of doing a PhD.
The learning on my subject area are one thing, but the learning on the academic process -its constrictions and assumptions- is as important to me than the final “bible” that I am supposed to produce.
For me a PhD is not only the final “bible” that is printed. Actually that is a distillation of a very small part of the PhD: the organisation of knowledge and the art of rhetoric. But where is all the rest? Where are the doubts, the moments of excitement, the fears, the diplomatic handling of supervisors, the solitude and the back hakes? Are they not an integral part of the process?
The common assumption that we need to suffer to produce a PhD makes me slightly sick. The standard practice that one then forgets all the process, once obtained the goal, makes me even more sick. It is like mothers skipping the detailed explanation of the pain of childbirth with the excuse that what counts is to have a healthy baby.
Well… no. What counts is to be aware of any instant as it happens.
At the moment I am swimming in PhD quicksands… so I see my diary as a way to fully document a process of internal transformation that does not only depends on books, readings or knowledge but also on moods, emotions and constant feedback with what my life is outside of PhD land.
How is this space of investigation, that is a PhD, gelling with the space of my private life? Some times they seem compatible, but then one takes over and it all becomes quite tensed… As I am not only a PhD student, nor only a teacher – or a wife, a mother, a friend, a woman, a human being etc. , but all of those at the same time, I do not see how I could separate my PhD learning from my general “being a learning individual”…
You will find in my PhD diary my less academic thoughts, but also some pictures that try to catch specific moments of my life (what I have called the Visual Haikus) and pictures that document my ongoing process of “PhDing” through time (that I have called the PhD Moisaic).
The VISUAL HAIKUS are an attempt to “grab the moment”, in a visual language.
The PhD MOSAIC documents the daily aspects of my multitasked life. Also, the last picture that I have uploaded in the PhD Mosaic serves as a background for the websites. The idea here is to introduce moods and dynamics in the design of the website itself. As my last picture temporally becomes the background of the website it documents my present state while you are reading me…