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By Rod Pitcher

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That person now appears to me to have been very naïve about research and the nature of knowledge. He had little understanding of the academic world, the world of research and the world of the researcher. He has grown into a person who now has some understanding and wants more. Undertaking the PhD has changed me. I’m not the same person as the one who started three or more years ago. I have more confidence in myself. I have proven myself -- at least to my own satisfaction – as a researcher. I’ve enjoyed the process – most of the time.

The isolation, change, liminality and communitas are all part of it. As well, there is a certain amount of pain and anguish in the PhD as in many rites of passage. Passing the ordeal of the rite is not easy – it’s not meant to be – otherwise there would be little value in the reward won at the end of it. The reward must be earned by blood, sweat and tears – at least metaphorically if not actually. 30 PhD Musings Yes, there is life after PhD At this stage, nearing the end of my PhD candidature, I conceive research as being a process of growth, not only in the knowledge produced but also in the researcher.

I learnt as much from the low spots as I did from the good times. At least, about myself. There is now no way that I could go back to being the person who started a PhD all those years ago. I’m changed too much. It was all worthwhile. I’m glad that I did it and I would do it all again. com download page? I will be delighted to hear from you. 33 PhD Musings Previous Posting On being a PhD student. Chat with Rellypops. 6 August 2012. Keeping a PhD journal. Postgraduates on Writing. 6 August 2012.

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PhD Musings 2 by Rod Pitcher

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