Am I there yet?

6 10 2008

The past two months saw the Goat meticulously chewing over her collected data, one of the reasons she’s been somewhat quiet on the blogging paddock. All the conserved energy resulted in a chapter of more than 30 000 words, divided into the following five main themes:

Theme 1. The past and present of Czech animation

Theme 2. Advancements in animation technology

Theme 3. Political censorship in Czech animation

Theme 4. Economic management of animation studios

Theme 5. Future of Czech animation


The last section of the chapter discusses the confluence of these themes and highlights their relationships in a visual diagram. Instead of waiting until the full chapter is drafted to obtain some feedback from my supervisor, I have been forwarding him drafts of each theme during my writing. That way any suggestions provided at the start can be implemented throughout the rest of the chapter and my stress levels are kept under control knowing that my chapter is shaping up. 

Today, I was able to read the Data Analysis chapter in one sitting and made notes regarding any minor changes or additions to the text. So am I there yet? Hopefully by the end of this week, I’ll be able to celebrate the completion of my chapter, maybe with a cake or something healthier like a carrot J

My Methodology chapter is next on my list, it’s at least 80% finished and I should be able to complete it within the next week. It’s also great that my supervisor has already read the Methodology chapter a couple of times so I know I’m on the right track and no huge changes are required.

Is the light at the end of the research tunnel getting brighter or what?

Happy goating,



Eating and sleeping matters!

28 08 2008

I think there should be a claass for postgraduates on balancing life, health, family, work and PhD.  Like Matt already said, it’s important to spend time away from our research. Since the beginning of my candidature, I have made the decision to treat my PhD as a job to keep my weekends free. I cannot stress enough how vital it is to give our brains a break once in a while. At the same time, I’ve been getting so tired, maybe the goat needs a break full stop!

In the past few weeks, I have been doing my data analysis and found it more difficult that I initially expected. I also noticed that in the process of the metahporic jumps over my research hurdles, I am getting more tired. The gray cold winter weather is certainly not helping to boost my spirit and I appreciate the occassional sunny moments on a weekend when I can be outside. The garden has been flowering as never before and it gives me so much joy to leave the computer and literally stop to smell the flowers. The house renovations we do on weekends are quite therepeutical. Somehow holding a paintbrush clears my mind and in a way physical work helps me relax.  

Everyone needs to find their way to preserve their sanity, to find happiness and reach their goals. Each of us is unique – if I were to ride 120km on a bike, trust me, I would die! And the Otter would probably find meditation boring. 🙂 But the truth is that as one starts approaching the finish line, it takes more energy to carry on. Note to self: Eating and sleeping always matter!


The Goat is chewing over her data

21 07 2008

Last week I began my thematic analysis and Discussion of findings. Despite the initial enthusiasm, I soon started to feel that the chapter was shaping up to be more ‘descriptive’ rather than ‘analytical’.  So I decided to take a step back and look first at other PhD theses that revolved our qualitative data and semi-structured interviews like mine.  I used the australian online database (   

and searched specifically for theses utilizing qualitative methods. It proved to be a very valid excercise that gave me some ideas for improvement:

  • Dont’ be afraid to use the word “Theory”, it has many definitions and can represent researcher’s concepts, opinions or conclusions based on previous study, experience etc. Theories don’t have to be all purely scientific and factual.
  • If suitable, “Discussion of Findings” can include citations of literature review to show how interview data confirm or contrast existing literature.
  • Examine how interview data address various themes and dig deeper to understand how one quote may talk both about the bigger picture as well as the more immediate issues.
  • Use subheadings within each Theme in the Discussion of Findings to make the chapter more reader-friendly and structured. Although I wanted the discussion to flow like a story, it needs to clearly identify the topics and sub-topics the data addresses.
  • Provide a summary at the end of each theme and highlight what was significant about the findings.

Lots to chew over in the next few weeks, I ought to be careful not to choke! 🙂


PhD break

30 05 2008

Yep, I had enough. 🙂 I decided to leave the pressures of PhD behind and go on holiday. And where else to go for the most relaxing time than my second home? I’ll spend the next four weeks cruising around Czech Republic, visiting friends and family, I might even pop in to Italy for a few days.

I won’t be blogging here as much for the next month although I’ve scheduled some ‘animation related’ meetings in Prague so I might report on how they went.  One researcher once told me that during PhD, one has to work hard but also play hard, that without regular break, we’d never ‘peak’. I think I’ll miss working on my PhD from time to time but look forward to ‘peaking’ in July!

So long,



Our Lion would like to be an Orangutan

15 05 2008

Every jungle has to have a king. We guess the king of our jungle is Michael, our supervisor. We think of him as the lion, however he claims to be a bit more of an orangutan. Here is a picture of our supervisor deep in thought.