Status Update – the completion of the first month of “What’s Next”

Wow a month down already. Where did I have time for work?

My thesis is now back on track. I’d ignored it over the month of March as I wound out of life at my firm. I then submitted a draft of my Research Design Chapter that my supervisor said just wasn’t OK. I’ve now resubmitted it and got the OK to proceed. My data collection is moving forward with a number of hills wineries now interviewed. I still have a number to do. The interview transcripts are coming back for review and analysis. I have also made a start on my Introduction and Literature Revew a chapters. 

I have continued with my Uni tutoring, have completed one guest lecture in an MBA Program and have been invited to give another. I have also been asked to act as Research Assistant in a new project – that’s exciting! I have also at the advice of my supervisor started to meet with potential supervisors for my PhD which I hope to commence in early 2016,

I have also formalised some advisory opportunities and started to meet with my new clients. That too is very exciting and so rewarding. I am also excited at the discussions I’ve had with people about other opportunities to build new and interesting networks. 

Then there is bike riding. I’ve met my objective of riding to Mt Lofty at least once each week and increased my kilometres significantly. My objective of 2500 kilometers by 30 June may have been a little ambitious but I am getting into the hills more regularly, getting fitter and losing weight.

Then there is the matter of our plans for Italy later in the year. We have settled on an a basic itinerary and are thrilled that each of our children are planning to spend some time with us in Sicily. We still have six months before we leave so plenty of time to plan.

Oh, I have also had a few work commitments to attend too as well.

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Anzac Day

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Australia and New Zealand took time to remember those who fell 100 years ago at Gallipoli on Saturday.

I along with about 20,000 others attended the Dawn Service in Adelaide. Hundreds of thousands also attended at other locations elsewhere in Australian and around the world. It wasn’t the first time I’d attended but certainly with so many more people present and it being the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing it had a little more meaning than usual. 

Anzac Day is quite possibly the most significant day in the Australian calendar, as it signifies the day when to many Australia came of age. As I stood there yesterday listening to the service and the speeches I was taken by the comment made by the service’s MC, a returned serviceman, that it matters not whether you have a view that Anzac Day is jingoistic or one that views with scorn the decision to get involved with a war on the other side of the world or somewhere between, it is simply an opportunity to remember those who have fallen in battle.

For me it’s not a day of celebration but a day of contemplation. To reflect on the sacrifice made willingly by so many for what they considered to be an important cause. It’s also a chance to acknowledge those who have served since and those still serving. It is not in my view appropriate to take  disagreement with the cause out on them but to acknowledge their contribution. 

As I was in my period of reflection I recalled the Vietnam War era, where as a child I recall hearing that returning vets were spat on and jeered at while marching at the Anzac Parade. Even the as a child it seemed wrong that those opposed to the war took it out on them, particularly as so many were conscripted.

Governments make the decisions to enter these wars and those who are in our Armed Forces are called into battle. To me they deserve our admiration and gratitude. They have made Australia a better place for their sacrifice and I for one am grateful.

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So that’s Chapter 3 not done

The last week or so has seen  a concerted effort to get Chapter 3 of my thesis my Research Methodology completed for discussion with my supervisor. I’d reworked and reworked the draft over the last few weeks. I was happy with the general outline and key sections so I emailed it to my Supervisor on the weeekend ready for a meeting on Tuesday.

I’d looked at a number of suggested approaches to writing the Research Methodology chapter and felt I was on track. My reading suggested I needed to tell a story which I thought I’d done. I knew it was too long at about four thousand five hundred words but felt I could bring the words down with some editing.

So off to my meeting I went feeling reasonably comfortable with where I was at. After some general discussion my supervisor got my draft out. A line through most of the first page wasn’t a good start! Bluntly, my supervisor didn’t feel I’d taken the correct approach and it would need to be completely rewritten. 

I’ve said before that I like the critical evaluation process that my study is producing however this time I was feeling decidedly uncomfortable and even a little upset. I gritted my teeth and took the advice on the chin only making some general comments as I listened, all the while, knowing my next couple of weeks would be a refocus on Research Methodology rather than turning my attention to my Literature Review chapter and Data Collection. My supervisor tried to put a positive spin on what I’d written saying it had shown I understood the concepts but that it wasn’t what would be required in my thesis. It wasn’t what the examiners would be expecting to see.

I thanked him for his feedback which I know was well meaning and constructive however for the first time in the last year I felt genuinely down hearted. It was the true realization that I have a very long way to go on this journey.

 My university is about a 25 minute walk from home so plenty of time to reflect. My spirits hadn’t lifted by the time I got home. I’d planned to keep working on it when I got home but couldn’t be bothered. A night infront of the TV was all I felt like before I faced upto the rewrite.

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100 Up

So this my 100th Post – It’s timing is perfect just as I start my next journey.

Michael Clarke’s Celebration after reaching 100 in Adelaide. Source: www.news.com. au

My blog has not met the WordPress suggested approach of a theme and stick to it. Rather it has been the thoughts of a fifty something as he contemplates what’s next. 

While it hasn’t been a “Dear Diary” it certainly has been a reflection on my thoughts. There has been plenty on music including my discovery of Country Music and the regular paying homage to The Boss. There have been posts on our trip to Europe and our plans for 3 months in Italy. There’s also been the opportunity to post on our local scene – the fabulous Adelaide Oval, Tour Down Under and Second Valley. I have also mentioned my move back to study on numerous occasions but the topic I expected would appear most being Sport has only been mentioned sparingly.

It has  enabled me to meet an objective of writing a thousand words a month and I think also improved my writing skills. 

It’s a time for celebration!

Posted in Books, Creative Writing, Cycling, Europe 2013, Italy 2015, Music, Second Valley, Sport, Study, Stuff!, Travel, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Next week will be “What’s Next”!

While I will have a little tidying up  through April, this is the last week in the office of a firm I have worked at for over 20 years and in an environment that has consumed me for over37 years. Wow! 

 This is the last week for saying “I’ll see you during the week”. My formal client roles are pretty much all dealt with.  I’ve attended my last partners meeting! It’s pretty much done. 

 All that’s left is to tidy up, have some final individual chat’s with my team and attend a couple of farewell events  and then Friday night my career in professional services will be over.

This week is truly my last week of transition. After that it’s not transition, it’s actually “What’s Next”. 

 Time for riding, study, tutoring, travel and…   

Dawn Second Valley

 

 

 

Posted in Cycling, Italy 2015, Study, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments