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Blog: Three Years In

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This week I received an email from the fine folks at Transport For London, telling me that my Student Tube Pass was about to run out. I was already GIRDING myself from the annual month of renewing various Student cards that happens when a new term starts in September, but this was something slightly different. The email told me that Student Tube Passes only last for three years, as that's how long an undergraduate degree usually takes, but they'd be sending me a new one automatically as they knew my course lasted longer.

Once I'd got over my AMAZEMENT and DELIGHT that something like this was set up to work so smoothly, without the need for 17 forms, 38 signatures and a photocopy of my passport, I was suddenly struck by the FACT that I have now been doing my PhD for THREE YEARS, which is longer even than I spent on my BA(hons) from Leicester Polytechnic. Crikey! It feels like only a few months ago since I first set sail on the sea of Unique Contributions To Knowledge, while in contrast my first degree - Combined Arts (English & Politics) for which I recieved The Gentleman's Degree i.e. a 2:2 - looms LARGE in my memory as taking FOREVER. During that time I played in at least three bands, directed two plays, wrote a musical, learned to play bass guitar, took three seperate productions to the Edinburgh Fringe, discovered BEER, set up and compered a comedy club, ran the student drama club, found out what happens when you drink a pint of WINE, contributed to the college newspaper, did two stand-up comedy sets and made friendships that are still with me now. Since starting my PhD I have mostly watched American sitcoms.

Of course, I have ALSO done several TONNES of Actual Work for the PhD, whereas for my first degree I worked out precisely how many lectures I needed to turn up to to avoid getting told off (40%, apparently) and then stuck religiously to that number. Also the fact that I DID all that other stuff while doing my first degree might just possibly explain why I was LUCKY to get the grade I did, although of course ANY degree from Leicester Polytechnic, especially an HONS degree, remains the passport to riches that it always was.

It still surprised me though, not least because it means I am well over halfway through it all now. I'm doing a part-time PhD so, in theory, I'll be handing it in in September of the Space Year 2021. That seems an awfully long way away, until I think of all I've got to DO between now and then, at which point it doesn't seem long at all!

In fact, I should really be getting on with it right now. Or maybe I'll go to the kitchen and see if Neil's got the kettle on, then check under the sofa to see if there's enough change to get me into the Poly Bop on Friday. After THAT, I'll definitely do some work!

posted 23/8/2019 by MJ Hibbett

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