Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “school”

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    Thesis writing season - Feb 1st, 2017
    I am entering thesis writing season now and am really looking forward to the stress and excitement that it will bring. I am not sure how long this season will last, and I’m not sure how my well-being will survive it, but I am really looking forward to it. Not because I’m looking forward to experiencing the stress, but because getting through this season is a massive part of getting to the Doctor Ryan bit of these PhD Dreams of mine. [more...]

    The buck stops here - Oct 27th, 2016
    That’s it folks: the buck stops here. Actually, I suppose I should say the pound stops here. Why? Because my last PhD stipend payment was today, and that means I have no more money coming into my bank accounts—bucks, bobs, quids, or otherwise—until I am finished with my PhD and I get a job. [more...]

    Denmark bound! - Oct 15th, 2016
    I am off on my travels again. This time, I am heading to Denmark for the 2016 Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) Annual meeting in Copenhagen. The adventure is largely supported by a grant from the John Campbell Trust, and my school is making up the difference. Just one of the (many) wonderful things about PhD student life! [more...]

    Croatia bound! - Sep 17th, 2016
    Bright and early tomorrow morning, long before the sun rises, my alarm clock will gently bring me out of Dream World. I will stumble out of bed, groggy and sleepy-eyed, and make my way to the kitchen to get my moka pot started making my morning coffee. And about an hour later—around 4:30—a taxi will arrive to take me to the airport. Because tomorrow morning, I am Croatia bound! [more...]

    Thesis summer - Jul 1st, 2016
    This summer is Thesis Summer for me. It’s the summer when I must, without excuses, get my head down and write, write, write! Luckily, July and August are two months devoid of conferences, training events, seminars, and other activities that take me away from my focus. So I’ve decided that I will devote them to my thesis; I will devote them to my PhD dreams. [more...]

    An undeserved first - May 16th, 2016
    Last week was the School of Computing PhD Conference, where all PhD students were expected to present their research. It was a long, busy day—especially as I was on the conference committee and was in charge of a couple of addresses (welcome and wrap-up stuff) as well as serving as replacement chair for the first-year presentations. And all of that public speaking was fine. But then I had to present my own third-year research towards the end of the day and nerves took over! [more...]

    Another year closer - Nov 16th, 2015
    Yesterday marked two years since I began my PhD studies. And that means I am another year closer to being Doctor Ryan. It’s a title I’ve longed for since I first began my bachelor’s degree all those years ago, and being this close to actually having it is pretty exciting! [more...]

    The brew master - Aug 9th, 2015
    I love beer. But I bet you probably knew that by now. Especially if you follow me on Untappd. I also love cooking and making edibles from scratch. I love learning, too. And I really love a good adventure. So yesterday, I combined all of those loves together for one great make-your-own-beer adventure. [more...]

    Breaking points - Apr 9th, 2015
    Life is hard these days and sometimes I wonder what my limits are. Sometimes I wonder how many more disappointments and frustrations I can manage before I reach my breaking point. And, to be completely honest, I’ve felt very close to finding out in recent weeks and months. [more...]

    A year of PhD dreams - Nov 16th, 2014
    Yesterday marked one calendar year since I matriculated as a research student in the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University. It’s hard to believe that more than 15 years after first thinking about a PhD, I’m finally making progress on one! [more...]

    Retreating to nature - May 7th, 2014
    On the second day of the retreat, we had the morning free for activities before an afternoon of presentations. Once again, I was left solo on my activity choice because I didn’t fancy sailing or mountain biking, and it seemed no one else fancied a wee nature walk and exploration of an old burial ground. [more...]

    Retreat to the castle! - May 7th, 2014
    The first day at the retreat centre began just after lunch, and we were all given opportunities to participate in an activity prior to a short presentation before dinner. I wasn’t keen on the idea of playing on the water, so opted to take one of the bikes into town to check out the old ruins of Finlarig Castle. [more...]

    Escaping the comfort zone - Apr 23rd, 2014
    Life begins where your comfort zone ends. The magic happens outside of your comfort zone. Success, happiness, excitement, love … it’s all found outside of our comfort zone. [more...]

    Finding money - Feb 18th, 2014
    A year ago, I was excitedly talking about applying for PhDs and how I wondered how I would ever afford to actually study if I was accepted somewhere. My first offer wasn’t a funded position so I knew in my heart that it would never happen. But the next two offers included studentship, making my PhD dreams more realistic, indeed! [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    PhD dreams: Month 1 - Dec 18th, 2013
    Today marks one calendar month since I began my PhD. And since I promised an update, here I am to tell you about it. Well, about the highlights at least. [more...]

    For the love of books - Dec 4th, 2013
    On Monday, I became the proud owner of a National Library of Scotland membership card. It was one of life's enjoyable moments and brought me the same elation I recall from my first-ever library card for the Carpenter Memorial Library in my hometown many, many years ago. [more...]

    Am I an imposter? - Dec 4th, 2013
    Last night I went to my first Connect talk, and I was left feeling that I certainly need to connect with Connect a bit more! Connect is for women studying computing, engineering, and the built environment at Edinburgh Napier University and, as I am doing my PhD in the School of Computing, I get to be a part of it. [more...]

    PhD dreams: Week 1 - Nov 22nd, 2013
    It’s been a calendar week since I formally matriculated as a PhD student and a “work” week since my first day as a PhD student. So—as promised—here’s a wee recap! [more...]

    PhD dreams: Day 1 - Nov 18th, 2013
    Well folks, it’s happened. It’s finally happened. I have finally started my PhD. Well, I have finally had my first full day as a PhD research student at least. I haven’t actually done any writing. Yet. But that will come soon enough! [more...]

    It’s finally here! - Nov 4th, 2013
    Excitedly, I have received my new UK visa today—meaning that I have all of the official bits of government-issued ID to allow me to return to Scotland to start my PhD programme. Yay!! [more...]

    A little closer - Nov 1st, 2013
    Today is November 1, which is the amended date for the start of my PhD programme in Scotland. Yet I am still in America. [more...]

    Apply and wait - Oct 11th, 2013
    I have finally applied for my new Tier 4 student visa. Yes, finally. It's something I had expected to do more than a month ago, but plans don't always work out the way we want them to! [more...]

    ATAS girl - Sep 27th, 2013
    Remember how I told you that I had to manoeuvre through an additional obstacle before I could apply for my new Tier 4 student visa? And remember how I said I was ever-so-slightly frustrated about it? [more...]

    Education is Central - Sep 20th, 2013
    I spent a lovely day on the Central Washington University campus today with my lovely niece, Virginia. It was so wonderful seeing the campus all spruced up and ready for the new crop of students (classes begin next week) but it was also wonderful walking around my alma mater more than a decade after graduation. [more...]

    The hat trick - Jul 24th, 2013
    When I put in my first PhD application, I was filled with self-doubt. But I was accepted. [more...]

    A Stirling offer - Jul 4th, 2013
    I won’t keep you long today because I’m just way too excited to blather on and on about my dreams of earning a PhD. Instead, I will just make an announcement and get back to my Independence Day celebrations (which have taken on an additional flair this year!). [more...]

    Waiting for a future - Jul 3rd, 2013
    Waiting has got to be one of the hardest things in the world when your entire future depends on the outcome. But waiting is what I do these days. I wait. And wait. And wait. And as I wait, I stress and worry. But still, I wait. Because sometimes there’s no hurrying the answer; there’s no bypassing the wait. [more...]

    And another - Jun 30th, 2013
    I’ve just completed an application for another PhD studentship and have realised that I am running out of options and opportunities now. In fact, there don’t appear to be any more opportunities for the upcoming academic year, and I fear that if I don’t begin my PhD studies this year, I never will. [more...]

    A Stirling opportunity - Jun 21st, 2013
    You may recall that I made an enquiry about a PhD studentship back in May, and that I was a bit uncertain about how it would fit with my research interests. But after reading up on the research outline and taking the counsel of some very wise people I know, I decided that it was, in fact, an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. [more...]

    Scholarship hopes - May 31st, 2013
    I am losing hope. Bit by bit, moment by moment. It is a painful process because I fear that my continued loss of hope will inevitably mean that I have to abandon my dreams. [more...]

    The genius theory - May 10th, 2013
    I took a bit of a self-esteem stumble after being pushed by some hurtful words over the weekend. I really let the words get to me and I started to doubt my goals because of them. [more...]

    Switching faculties - May 1st, 2013
    From the beginning of my university career, the goal has been to get my PhD. It was a no-brainer, really. I love school, I love studying, I love academics. I am fully in my element when I’m learning. [more...]

    Stumbles along the PhD path - Apr 23rd, 2013
    I have just learned that I was unsuccessful in my application for a full-tuition scholarship from the University of Glasgow. I am, to say the least, gutted. I had really wished and hoped that I would be able to waltz into my PhD without financial worries, but it seems that God thinks I’m stronger than that. [more...]

    A Wednesday ramble - Mar 27th, 2013
    I’m going to delve into a short(ish) stream of consciousness for a bit here, because there’s a lot on my mind that I’ve wanted to share, but I can’t really put it into a coherent form. At the same time, I have several people asking me how things are going with my visa and what my plans are for the summer. [more...]

    Swirls for sale! - Mar 17th, 2013
    I have finally done it! I have finally started selling my swirls! [more...]

    All about the money - Mar 6th, 2013
    Right now, my thoughts are all about money; lots and lots and lots of money. Not in a materialistic way, but in a practical way. I need to find £75,000 and I need to find it fast. Or, at the very least, I need to find £13,000 in the next few months. [more...]

    Via, Veritas, Vita - Feb 26th, 2013
    Remember how I told you that I submitted my first PhD application? And that I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t get accepted? Well, that concern seems to have been unwarranted because I have been offered a place at the University of Glasgow, beginning this autumn. Oh yes, I have! [more...]

    I am a cyborg: A personal reflection - Feb 11th, 2013
    To celebrate submitting my first PhD application yesterday, I thought I’d share with you my first writing assignment from my master’s programme. [more...]

    Submitted - Feb 10th, 2013
    Wow! I’ve just submitted an application for a PhD programme. That’s just crazy! I mean, I’m the girl who suffered years of speech therapy—and the mocking that goes along with having speech problems. [more...]

    Stepping toward the future - Jan 15th, 2013
    Today was a busy and productive day, despite having nothing tangible to show for it. Still, I’ve taken steps toward tomorrow and that makes me a bit happy—if not slightly nervous and uncertain. [more...]

    Things found by accident - Jan 15th, 2013
    A while ago, I shared with you the found things I pick up when I’m out and about; every time I find something new to add to my collection—it brings a smile to my face. So when I saw that the Brooklyn Art Library's newest project was titled Things Found ... By Accident, I knew it was right for me! [more...]

    New year; new hopes - Jan 1st, 2013
    I like to start each year with a bright, fresh outlook; with a renewed hope for joy and happiness. But I must admit that I hadn’t planned to start 2013 that way. In fact, the post that I wrote over the past few days was one of despair. [more...]

    So long, 2012! - Dec 31st, 2012
    If I am honest, I would have to say that 2012 has been a pretty unhappy year. I think it’s been even worse because I had such high hopes for it; I suppose that hoping for happiness only served to set me up for greater disappointments. [more...]

    The master - Nov 23rd, 2012
    The day you’ve all been waiting for has arrived! Today is the day that I completed one of my life goals. Yes, today is the day that I graduated—with distinction!—from the University of Stirling with a Master of Letters in Media and Culture. [more...]

    Thanksgiving expertise - Nov 22nd, 2012
    Today is Thanksgiving and, once again, I have so much to be thankful for. Of course, it’s always a little awkward being overseas on the holiday, since it’s not only not celebrated here, but it’s also not understood. [more...]

    New leaves - Nov 20th, 2012
    Graduation is on Friday and I’m really [dreading] looking forward to it. Oops, did you catch that error? [more...]

    The distinguished lady - Nov 16th, 2012
    You’ve slogged through post after post of me going on and on about my goal to earn my master’s degree. You’ve listened to me whine about how I had to write loads and loads of words for my dissertation. [more...]

    October: The missing month - Nov 14th, 2012
    I’ve thought long and hard about how to handle the month of October for my blog. You know, since I only posted twice before the site went down for essential maintenance. [more...]

    Digital Diaries - Sep 25th, 2012
    To celebrate Social Media Week, I have decided to share a paper I wrote a few months ago about digital diaries and online identities. It was a difficult paper to write because I needed to balance sharing my ‘personal’ life with the academic side of the equation, but it was a good exercise. [more...]

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