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Saturday, May 21, 2011

A journey to remember

It has been quite a journey. Seven semesters (or three and a half years). That is the duration I took to finish my PhD thesis - from discussions, identifying relevant resources, coming up with the theoretical framework, reading, interviewing experts, analysing texts, writing, rewriting, rewriting the rewrite... I think you get the idea.
I am grateful that I have been able to get this thesis done (finally) in the midst of the other things that I do. Unlike the majority of PhD candidates, I enrolled for my doctorate while keeping my day job. About one semester into the candidature, the university asked me to lecture part-time. So, it was quite a juggling experience having to give time for my family, my full-time job at the foundation, my part-time lecturing job at the university, my where-do-I-find-the-time-for-this passion for writing novels and short stories, my involvement with three committees - a research ethics committee at another university, a task force at a ministry and a scientific advisory committee to an NGO, and of course my studies.

Alhamdulillah, I am very happy that in spite of the odds, I managed to complete the thesis-writing part. The PhD journey is not yet over though. This Monday, I will be submitting my three-month notice for submission to the university. After which the university will proceed with the necessary procedures of appointing my examiners (two external and one internal). On the 3rd of June, I will have to present my research findings at the departmental level. Then I will have to wait for the date for my viva voce.

Nonetheless, to me the most difficult part (and also the part that involved a lot of procrastination) is over. Even if I have to do corrections, at least the body of the thesis is already there.

With this thesis done, I can now redirect my energy to other ventures. I know I owe a lot of people out there the sequel of Transgenesis: Bisikan Rimba. So, I guess that will be my focus for the next few months. Oh, I guess I should have more time for blogging as well. As a start, I have changed the blog's template to give it a fresher look. Who knows, I may blog on a more frequent basis.

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