Ello my peeps, it’s been another long stint since I’ve posted but again been preoccupied with life, been building my castle.

Started the year running. I spent New Year’s day and the days following working flat out. All good, all good. There was a reason. The reason was I presented my proposal at DUT on the 6th February (earlier this month). Before that I attended African Doctoral Academy from 11 to 22 January as well. I have a much better handle on qualitative data analysis and ATLAS.ti now. What an amazing tool uh. I’ll have to do a special blog post on just ATLAS.ti one day.

As the time got closer to the presentation, I started progressively tensing up. My neck eventually went into spasm…I am such an idiot. I do it to myself. But I kept chipping away at it. I even got as far as having a pre-pilot interview (aka a lunchtime chat) with Dr Abofele Khoele. Heaven knows I am so indebted to him. I don’t have words to entirely express how grateful I am for his valuable insight and input. He helped me chart the direction and built my confidence before the presentation. I hope that one day I will be able to pay it forward.

So then came the actual presentation and I nailed it. Kachow…kachow kachow..ching ching CHAhing! That morning the earth moved. Literally. There was a tremor in Durban measuring 3.2 on richter scale that morning – true story. And I didn’t even need to defend because no one challenged my work.

So then when I got back home, I designed the pilot questionnaire (here I’m grateful to Robin for always being so supportive and listening and being the logical voice even though it has nothing to do with his work), completed my ethical clearance forms, informed consent form and final tweaks to the proposal and off I sent it for HDC (Higher Degrees Committee) review. In other words, sent it off to be “marked”. If all goes well, my supervisor expects I will get approval in March but she told me to start writing my chapters in the meantime. Starting with Chap 1….tomorrow.

As I typed this, it strikes me more and more that doing a PhD is something one cannot accomplish on your own. The final thesis may have my name on it, but there will be many “nameless” contributors. I wonder……I wonder if I shouldn’t write a list of contributors, just for interest sake. Have it on record somewhere, maybe publish the list on my blog after I submit the final thesis. Just the name and what the person helped me with. I might just do this. It would be interesting to see how many people actually are part of the PhD development process.

And then I took my minions to Sun City for some QT time…fun in the sun