R1 Frustration

My mental capabilities aren’t what they were ten years ago when I embarked on my undergraduate studies.  Certainly that’s how it feels a decade later as an unsettled post-grad student.

I’m working on finishing my R1 or at least the first complete draft of it.   The literature review has been a particular struggle in terms of crafting a coherent discussion from a wide-ranging collection of papers.  It’s only 1000 words and so how difficult can it be?

There’s a definite leap between two paragraphs in the literature review.  My supervisor suggests a few papers that I should cover in my review.  These fall into three categories.

  1. Papers I haven’t read before.
  2. Papers I have read before and remember reading.
  3. Papers I have read before and don’t remember reading.

Although I have issues with not having included all three types of paper, it’s the third that particularly troubles me.  I track down a suggested paper and save it on my computer.  “A file with the name you specified already exists”.  Does it?  Apparently I downloaded it six months’ ago.  Oh yes, here are my notes.


The problem was summed up nicely by Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell on a radio programme last night.   A young triathlete was saying how good he felt about his training and what a privilege it was to have sport as a job.  I could identify with this, obviously not as an athlete but as the recipient of a studentship which means I can devote my time to something I enjoy.  Then James Cracknell suggested that he should make the most of it while he has no children.

After another week of disturbed sleep, it’s-too-early-in-the-morning visitors, crying baby, ill little girl, falling asleep at 9 pm and not being able to remember what I’ve read I have to agree.


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