Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wombeyan Caves and a PhD

Our family spent a lovely weekend at Wombeyan Caves. We cheated and stayed in a dorm to avoid packing up tents in the rain.  We all adored the caves and the lively camping ground. It reminded me of why I study geomorphology. Karst rock features in the caves were so diverse and amazing. The caves were still, damp, quiet, dark and sparkly (well I imagined they were quiet if I removed our kids screams of delight). A few bats flew around the stalagmites, stalactites, helictites, flow stones and columns (cave formations- speleothem). Bushfires even got into the story due to the smoke colouring some cave features.




My good friend who came along with her hubby and gorgeous kids asked that complex question. “Should I study a PhD whilst raising young children and working?”
Hmmm what answer do I give to that…  

NO!

But then after some thought- actually a whole night’s sleep of thought my answer was a bit longer.

Of course you should study a PhD. Sometimes it’s a wonderful journey. BUT before you start on the journey I recommend reading some books and thinking really hard about WHY you want to do a PhD. It’s not easy.

The books include

Phillips and Pugh (2010) How to get a PhD: a handbook for students and their supervisors

Evans and Grant (2008) Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life

And the website worth reading

Then after you have read all this, ask your partner if he is also ready for the ride.

Then GO FOR IT jump on that rollercoaster and enjoy the ride!

3 comments:

RobynK said...

Love going through caves, it's magical. Good advice on the PhD question and I think a supportive partner is almost a pre requisite.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's nice to read your blog. I am a mum of a 6 years-old boy who is struggling to complete my PhD. We are planning to visit wombeyan Caves too, next month.

I was happy to get involved a bit in "Becoming Dr Mum" research couple years ago.

Good luck...

PhD Journey: fire, kids, erosion said...

Hi Anonymous
Wish you weren't anonymous. Here is another relevant post for you.

http://phdfire.blogspot.com/2011/11/why-do-phd.html

I wish you well with the struggle to complete the thesis. Well worth the effort I believe.

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