I think I’ve hit the first big hurdle in my PhD which has made me stumble somewhat. I had a meeting with my co-supervisor on Wednesday, we went through some ideas and I tried to explain the direction of things to him, and we both ended up with a clearer view of where I was heading. Then I had a meeting with my advisor on Friday, and ended up completely confused as to what was going on as we headed off in a completely different direction (in fact, this meeting is the first one where I’ve not either had a strict agenda to adhere to or sufficient knowledge of the subject to be able to ad-lib). So I now have even less idea of what I’m doing, compounded with a significant dent in my bubble of confidence grrr (if only these obstacles were like real hurdles—one of the few sports where I could actually come near the top of the class).
I’ve also discovered that a PhD really does take over your life in ways you don’t expect. I never stop thinking about it, and no matter how much work I do it doesn’t seem like I’m making much progress, although I have at least started to define what I mean by ‘an event’ (this is potentially rather important, depending on which way my research goes), which hardly anyone else who talks about this sort of thing bothers to do (I have only found one paper in which an event is properly defined, and even then the definition is lacking in one major area). I have to define a six month plan and prepare a presentation about my research in the next couple of weeks though, so I’d better get on with that.