Life update: where I explain my absence to assuage the neverending guilt

I am now on the last leg of completing my PhD. I know I said that in my last “life update” but this time… it’s serious. All I do, all day, is sit at my desk and try and figure out why words have stopped meaning what they used to. By the end of the project I should have over 70,000 words ready for the nine people around the world who it will be relevant to.

As you might imagine, I’m finding it difficult to sit and type in front of a screen – who knew that there was a limit? – and formulating blog posts at the moment seems like an arduous, difficult task. I have to have… an argument? I have to have opinions? Sounds a bit too similar to the every day struggle of stringing together sentences that include words like ‘ontology’, ‘problematise’ and ‘heterogeneity’.

The plan is to submit by the end of July – yes, next month. To celebrate, I was hoping to indulge either by going on holiday or buying a Switch (preferably both) – but my funding dried up months ago so I may have to settle for a packet of crisps, a movie and possibly a phone call with someone who does own a Switch. They can talk to me about their Switch experiences and I can translate their experiences into blog posts that will rock the internet to the very core…!

I apologise if this sounds like my current situation isn’t any fun – actually it’s been good. After a hard day’s thinking, there’s always time to enjoy videogames. Videogames still make sense. In the last few weeks alone, I’ve enjoyed spending time with Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, Splatoon, Portal 2, Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, and assorted Neo Geo games.

Anyway just to say thanks for bearing with me in this limbo phase. There will be a one or two posts coming your way, just not the usual weekly ones – I can’t wait to jump back on the blogtrain when the time is right!

final fantasy xiii

Looking forward to playing and blogging about more games from the backlog…

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12 comments

    • veryverygaming

      Thanks, appreciate it! I’m in cultural studies, mainly focused on English literature. There are definitely a lot of academically qualified gamers out there – when I wrote the previous life update post outing myself as a PhD student, it seemed practically everyone who commented either already had a PhD or were studying for one 😛

      • Hundstrasse

        Yeah…. 🤔… I know that they’re all around here somewhere! 😊. It doesn’t surprise me really, but it’s interesting that socially it’s still not acceptable enough for people to wear it on their sleeve.

        I’m in material science, so I tip my hat to you on the literature front as I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Try and enjoy the submission and Viva process (of possible); it’s stressful at the time, but also kinda fun 😁.

  1. Athena | AmbiGaming

    Oh my goodness you’re so close!! I just finally dug out of thesis-land, so I can only imagine what dissertation-land is like…. You can do it! We’ll be here when you get back 🙂

    And I second Hundstrasse’s question. I think we might have had this conversation before, but what are you studying?

    • veryverygaming

      Much appreciated, Athena! I’m in cultural studies, focusing on religion and secularism. Funny, seems we have opposite terminology over here in the UK: dissertation is undergraduate and Masters level, while thesis is PhD. Congratulations on completing your course by the way – Masters was the hardest in my experience, very intense, no breaks or delaying… tough stuff. (We might have had this conversation before, but that’s OK!)

      • Athena | AmbiGaming

        That sounds so interesting! Good luck again 🙂

        I never noticed the thesis/dissertation differences between UK and US… And thank you; I’m glad it’s finished. It was definitely tough, so I’m glad to hear Ph.D isn’t quite as insane……

  2. LightningEllen

    I can only imagine how difficult it must be to earn a PhD. I wish you all the best! You can definitely do it and it will be a glorious IRL achievement 😀 Videogames are a great way to unwind from all that stressful stuff. I’m glad they are helping you relax.

    Oh and cool picture! I think I’ve heard of that Final Fantasy XIII game somewhere before… The pink haired woman looks so badass! You’ll have to let me now how it is when you get to it 🙂

    • veryverygaming

      Thank you for the kind words! Games are great at the end of a long day, for sure. When it comes to PhDs, there’s this idea that you have to be really smart, but honestly brains have nothing to do with it. Perseverance and a good support network are everything you need, and I’ve been cursed by the former and blessed by the latter!

      Ha ha, I thought you would appreciate the Lightning reference. I also have FFX and XII on PS2, neither of which I’ve played, but some reason really excited to finally try this game in particular – must be your influence!

    • veryverygaming

      Gosh, I wish this didn’t ring so true! I’m going back over stuff I wrote back in 2013 and have had to replace sections of it that are now out of date! Gratefully my thesis has only taken four years, it could be much worse. Your comment has made me imagine a viva happening today where the examiner asks why the student used words like queer and gay at inappropriate moments – “Professor, when I wrote that section those words meant unusual and happy” 🙂

  3. moresleepneeded

    I have not completed or entered for a PhD, but I have had to write long academic reports. I remember one of things I enjoyed about blogging was being able to write material more freely, rather than being restricted to a proper academic style which tightly regulated the tense used and the made sure the tone remained passive.
    I hope the PhD goes well and you can have a celebration afterwards. I look forward to the new reviews. How is the PhD going by the way? Would you be satisfied to finish at the end of July?

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