Ah the Christmas and New Year break – the season for writing guilt…
I have forced myself to take some time off during the Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays, and even though I know that is it healthy to take a break – and am frequently told to do so my my supervisors – it is hard to shake that guilty feeling that I would be working!
With the last day of 2015 looming tomorrow I have been having stabs of panic that I have not done enough work this year and at times like this I find it useful to go over my study diary. I kept a record of the work I did each day during my undergraduate degree with The Open University, as it was required for some modules and it was a habit I resumed when I began my PhD studies. It is just a simple Excel spreadsheet with dates and description of what I did that day but I find it a good way of keeping on target, making sure I take a day off from time-to-time and reminding myself I have done more work than it feels like! In some ways this blog fills a similar role, like my #ThrowbackThursdays looking back over old posts reminds me of what I have achieved. So looking back, what were the highlights?
January 2015 – I had a fantastic time away in Dorset with fellow Natural History Museum students
March 2015 – I attended the excellent and useful course Dirt Science: An Introduction to Soil System Science
April 21015 – fieldwork in Dorset and presented a poster at the British Society of Soil Science ECR Conference
May 2015 – I attended the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and started sampling for soil microbes
June 2015 – My first Hackathon, and another conference
July 2015 – Attended my first ever music festival – as a scientist!
September 2015 – Presenting my PhD project at the PREDICTS Symposium and at the SSCP DTP Conference
November 2015 – More conferences! And a look back at my very first, to see how far I have come
December 2015 – running an activity on leaf litter invertebrates at a school and finally revising and submitting my MSc manuscript
What will 2016 have in store? Hopefully:
Launch of the Citizen Science project I am leading
Survive my 18 month review!
Get a couple of thesis chapters drafted
Sampling microbes and soil invertebrates in different land use types in the New Forest
Sequencing my first lot of microbial DNA
More data collation and analysis
Be a published author (fingers crossed!)