Reflexive Student Report: First Year As a PhD Student


According to Denzin and Lincoln “every text that is created is a self-statement, a bit of autobiography, a statement that carries an individual signature” (1998, p. 184), therefore, in view of this, this reflection is a piece of my autobiography, it is a chapter related to my first year as an MPhil/PhD student. It is also an exercise of reflection towards the challenge to be a reflexive researcher, because I am among those who embrace reflexivity as “the primary methodological vehicle for their inquiry.” (Etherington, 2004, p. 31)

The main purpose of this reflection is to transform my experiences into learning, and I do not know another way to achieve this but by writing. In other words, writing is the only means I am able to reflect upon experiences and learn from them. Additionally, writing is in the heart of my methodological intentions, and was a point of struggles in this first year, as I discuss later. This analysis is also a sort of debriefing exercise, aimed to understand my own actions, and the context that surrounded them.

I divided the analysis into several parts accordingly to the “path” of them. The first part presents my autobiographical account at present on the journey which led me to my research topic and methodological preferences, comprising my early days as a primary teacher and the last years before the beginning of the course. The second part comprises a contrast between my expectations and the reality of becoming a student again. The following section analyses the research training programme, namely its units and the analysis ends with a reflection upon my study.

The autobiographical side of the analysis

Prior to my degree in Education, I finished a formation for primary teachers at a second level, which was then the minimum requirement to have a qualified teacher status in my country. Therefore, I started teaching at the same time that I started university. It was a paradoxical learning experience, because at the same time that the theoretical part was enchanting me, the school reality was a frustrating experience for me both as a human being and as a professional. At those days the behaviourist practices were the leading pedagogy and the practicalities of this in a daily basis almost put me out of the education ground. On the other hand, I started reading the ideas of Paulo Freire and the fundamentals of Vygotsky, which seduced me profoundly. At the end of that first year I decided to work in another school, where the behaviourism was not the law and the Vygotskian thought had a place. Since then, my teacher education at degree level was always accompanied by my teaching experience in a flexible school, which allowed me to be innovative, creative and able to contribute together with other teachers. As part of this process, I was nominated educational supervisor after four years as primary teacher.

During the ten years that I worked as an educational supervisor, coordinating, advising and supporting teachers, I gradually …

IT Training Will Lead To An Exciting and Rewarding Career

IT knowledge and expertise have become some of the most sought after skills on the job market. If you have IT training or a degree in IT technology, you have an immediate inroad to potential employment with a good company for decent compensation and benefits. Just about every businesses, from large corporations to small proprietorships, need people who know how to support applications, programs, and networks. Getting your training as soon as possible gives you the opportunity to take advantage of current and future high level demands for these positions. It can even give you the potential to quickly promote into higher level jobs.

IT training may even aid you in gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to become an IT manager. There are a variety of different IT management applications which are typically used in a business for customer service, systems control and analyzes, and resource management. Knowing how to utilize these systems gives you and your company an upper hand when it comes to reducing and managing technology costs.

If you have considered becoming an IT specialist or manager, there are many options for education to choose from. Certification is often helpful and necessary to ensure individuals have knowledge in proprietary systems. Many schools offer courses geared specifically toward certification. There are also many formal and informal IT training options which are being delivered. Whether it be in the classroom or online, taking these courses will benefit both you and any enterprise you wish to work for.

Taking courses online gives you more flexibility, by allowing you to study and take the classes from your home or office during the times you have available. If you feel you need more one-on-one instruction, there are many community, private, and four-year colleges which have all offerings. Colleges sometimes offer less formal classes in IT training as adult or continuing education. No matter how you choose to learn, a career in IT will be an exciting and profitable choice. …

Starting a Career As a Pharmacy Technician

If you are seeking a career where employment opportunities are expected to be good, consider training to be a Pharmacy Technician or Aide. One aspect of this busy and interesting job that may be appealing is the flexibility. Many technicians and aides work evenings, weekends, and holidays since about seventy-five percent of this employment is in a retail setting.

Most of us have had to fill a prescription or two. We know the position entails receiving and dispensing prescriptions for customers. In addition to this basic task, there are also administrative duties to perform. A pharmacy technician will take the request for filling the prescriptions from customers or electronically from doctor’s offices, dispense appropriate amounts, and possibly label containers. The pharmacist usually will double check to see that the prescription work is correct and administered properly.

It is always suggested that you provide good customer service. Communication skills are necessary since this position gives you interaction with coworkers, and healthcare professionals. Technicians also document patient’s profiles and insurance claim information, and help to answer questions.

A pharmacy aide will also be responsible for administrative duties, as well as answering phones when needed, keeping the shelves appropriately stocked, and checking out customers.

Employment in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, may include additional responsibilities. A broader knowledge and experience may help a technician to qualify. This position may involve bringing medications to the doctors or nurses and preparing sterile solutions. Technicians may also record the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient’s chart.

Most States require a pharmacy technician to register with the State board of pharmacy. An application fee is required and the level of education varies depending on the state. Certification is not necessarily required, but may be preferred by the employer. The general requirements may include a high school diploma or its equivalent and no felony convictions.…

Internet Marketing Education

Where would you go to get your Internet Marketing Education?

That is the million dollar question that a lot of people are asking themselves. Probably the question that people should be asking themselves before they come up with a product or service to sell is how the heck do I let the Internet world know I have something to offer. Do I go to College to learn the necessary skills? Do I just Google it and go with the First couple of listings that come on the search Query?

My guess is that most people go with the first thing that sounds like it is going to fit what they are trying to do and it most likely will end in disappointment. Or maybe you go all out and buy your website set it up with all the Bells and whistles and then worry about how to market your site. Only to find out that you did not optimize your site, or Monetize your site, or that you forgot to set your Meta Tags Properly, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. Then you wonder why nothing is working out the way you had hoped it would.

Learn your craft before you try to put it to work and you will unduly have a better chance at success. Would you try to fly a plane based on a video game experience? (Of Course not) so why move into something as complex as Internet Marketing without the right skill set.

Oh I forgot that there was this site you saw and this guy said that a few simple clicks of the mouse and this that or the other and you can make $ 10,000 a week. Or whatever outrages dollar amount that individual might be making. Folks if it were that simple all of us would be doing it and all of us would be rich, Right? So let's be realistic here and look at the facts. 1-3% of all people who get into a Home Based business Venture will be super successful, and I can assure you that they worked at their craft, and they deserve it. They did what it takes to be successful and they followed the guidance of a good mentor or mentors.

Nothing worth achieving is ever easy but it can certainly be done by anyone who takes the time to learn how and implement the necessary things it takes to attain ones goals. If you were given a map with a set of tools and a clear path to a hidden treasure, and all you had to do was follow the instructions on that map, would you do it? Keep in mind that it would not be easy, but very achievable, if you followed the instructions to the letter.

Now how many of you just said "Well it depends?"

Folks there is such an education in Internet Marketing and there are Mentors who have been very successful at their craft and they are eager to share that …

The Time Dimension and the Scientists

Are we true scientists or just pseudo-scientists?

In my mind a scientist is a person who applies his or her knowledge to understand the workings of our physical and mental world. By studying the evidence presented, a true scientist will further enhance our knowledge of the world we live in by considering all aspects dispassionately. However, a pseudo-scientist among us will only accept the evidence that suits him and will ignore the rest which does not suit him.

From my observations in life there is one thing that has become clear to me is the fact that doctors or for that matter anyone else do not cure a person. What we do as doctors is help mother nature cure the patient. That is, we help provide the right conditions and treatment for the patient to enable Mother Nature to cure the person.

Science has shown us that this healing process lies within every individual and not outside him and it lies in our immune system. This immune system is under our subconscious control as is evidenced in our observation of the “placebo” effect in medicine. So when we try to heal a patient, what we do as doctors is to try to boost this immune system so that the patient can heal himself. If the immune system fails, no doctor in this world can save that individual.

Since the strength of this immune system is dependent on the physical and mental state of the individual, is it not important that we should all learn about our subconscious mind and how we operate?

For most people our subconscious mind is like the elephant in the room. It is either taken for granted or ignored. Instead of trying to understand it and master it, most people turn away or use it as a garbage bin for their negative feelings. Not only that but these days many use mind bending drugs to alter the perception of reality. Since all our vital functions like breathing and circulation of blood etc. are under the subconscious control, surely this type of behavior can only lead to more physical and mental ill-health. So is it not time we started learning about this powerful energy source which influences our inner and outer world?

In the poem “The Rubaiyat of Omar-Khayyam” there is this famous quatrain which applies to all time travelers. It succinctly sends this message that time is irreversible. What is done can never be undone. Once that moment of time is gone, it is gone forever.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

Clearly this is the web of time we are all caught up in with no prospect of ever escaping. It is this perception of time that makes us aware of our mortality and influences our aging process.

So how do we free ourselves from this time …