Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I officially enrolled into my PhD programme today. The morning was quite hectic - taking care of all the logistical stuff. But the advantage I had was that I'm a returning student so I got to skip quite a bit. It's actually a strange feeling, going from the MA to PhD programmes, because so many people have left, and so many new people have come in, and I just sit somewhere in between. Nearly all the MA students I knew have either gone to other schools (everyone follows a supervisor), or have gone to work. So it's strange being a returning student without knowing many people, and at the same time enrolling in a new programme and having to go through it all over again.

Anyway, the second part of the day was great. I had a nice long meeting with my research supervisor (same professor who supervised my MA), and we set up our regular one-on-one meetings this year for once every two weeks, starting this coming Monday. I then met with the professor who will be conducting the history research methodology seminar, who is new to the university and who I absolutely loved. He defaults as a member of my research committee, which I am ecstatic about because I really got along well with him. Then later in the day there was a reception for all PhD students, and I finally bumped into someone who was with me last year - a girl who I really like both personally and academically, and who I am very happy is going to be in my programme.

What struck me most while I was in the history department today, meeting with faculty and saying hi to people, was how shockingly different the whole experience already is. As one of the professors said during the reception today, we are now in between being students and being academics - and you really do feel it. It's life on a whole different plane, and I love it. You feel that your relationship with the university has changed. I think it's probably most detectable when you attend the same place for the MA and PhD. Then you can really compare the difference. You feel different when you talk to faculty, and to each other. Chatting with one of my professors from last year in the corridor, exchanging stories about our research experiences over the summer - me for my dissertation and him for his latest book - I just felt that much closer on an academic level. I feel like I have climbed up such a huge step since May/June, and I am so ready to get started on this now.

This is what I love. This is why I'm here. I am looking forward to this year more than I ever have to anything I have ever done in my life. It's going to be a tremendous amount of work, but I'm excited about that. This really is a labour of love...it has to be, otherwise you really won't be able to survive. And I'm more than ready for it.

But in the meantime...I have just under one more week of pure freedom!

* Just to clarify, in the British system "enrollment" as an activity is more or less equivalent to registration and orientation in the American system, but, in the case of my uni, without the luxury of an online system. It's basically the process of letting them know you're here, paying and/or finalizing scholarship info, collecting handbooks, getting your ID if you're a new student, and finally registering for classes if in a taught programme. There are also all the other "orientation" types of activities for students who are new to the university. In my case, as a research student who is also returning, I just had to wait in a long queue to activate my file, double-check my scholarship details, and pick up my research student logbook. The rest is all done directly in my department. Nothing actually starts, however, until next week.


  • Congratulations!!! I'm so happy to hear about you starting your PhD program -- what an exciting new phase of life. As you said, it's a lot of hard work, but it's a labor of love ... hmmm you wrote that with a 'u' ... well, I guess there something or someone 'Britishi-fying' all of us in some shape or form!

    Sorry I missed you when you were home. Hopefully we'll catch up real soon!

    By Blogger PlumPetals, at 9/27/2006 11:15 pm  

  • Thanks! I'm really excited. Can't wait to officially join you guys' world of academia!

    As for my British spelling - it's so strange. Within one month of being in London, it all began to change on its own. I now instinctively write "ou", "mme" ("programme"), "re" ("theatre"), etc. I don't even think about it - that's just how it comes out!

    I'll be home again in November. We'll meet up then, hopefully!

    By Blogger Kleio, at 9/28/2006 1:10 am  

  • I noticed the "Britishized" thing a long time ago but I didn't say anything :P 'Guessin' something like that rubs off naturally over time :))

    I wish you the very very very best of luck Kleio :))

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 9/28/2006 2:51 am  

  • Erzulie: Not even that much time! :) And thank you, sweets!

    By Blogger Kleio, at 9/30/2006 5:08 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home