The hard(er) way

Originally published on May 14th, 2013

Two different people have tried to appeal to me lately commenting that my methodological approach to research might not be ideal. The words have been similar to “trying harder”, or attempt to do things in a way that one works more yet gets a better outcome. I somehow do not know how to reply to comments of the like.

I wish to be polite, rather than having to play the victimist card that I could so easily use but I refrain from most of the time. Just because I laugh off being self-funded and working all the time, that doesn’t really give anybody the right to laugh out loud about such a situation. I feel I am standing on the border that delimits full-time study from full-time employment (with flying quotes, of course) and my priorities are shaky. This all creates a massive burden of elements that should go in a different way but, because of the current circumstances, are not.

I’ve had to find my own way, my own methodological approach to research, because starting from the point that I do not study 9 to 5, five days a week, because I do not have the economic means to do so, I am doing everything differently from any other PhD student. That does not make me better, at all. But I would never bring into question anyone’s methods, we are all different. I have to bend the rules because that has been the whole bottomline of this course so far: no funding in the current circumstances means drop out and limbo. For me it means work harder, and nothing will stop you, and it clearly hasn’t. Not only I have learnt to love and appreciate myself and the results of my work this year, I have also learnt how to draw a leaf on the top of a caffe latte.

Ironically, this all comes in the week in which I have fully paid off my first year of research. £3,450, well spent I want to believe. Some rules are meant to be broken.

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