Thursday, 9 January 2014

A change to my century; a change to my life


This photo is a year or two old,
but shows how I stand in relation to Sherpa...

Firstly, blog news - after seeing some alternative centuries around the blogosphere, and chatting to my friend at work, I have decided to shift my century a bit.  I'll now be doing the past 100 years - that is, 1914-2013.  I found the first years so difficult to fill last time, and I also missed the 21st century - this way I can keep myself more content, and still have a great overview of a century.  And, of course, 1914 is not an insignificant year.

Secondly, life news - I had my DPhil viva yesterday, and have passed with minor corrections!  I think I'm not technically a doctor until I've done those corrections, had them approved, and got a piece of paper from the English faculty in my hands - but to all intents and purposes I am now Dr. Thomas.  Gosh, how strange that sounds!  I think it might take me a lot longer to get used to it than everyone else.

64 comments:

  1. Huge congrats!!! And I'm very much looking forward to your century of books - especially the 21st century ones :)

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  2. Congrats to you, Doctor! Must say on that century change...hmmm...is it cheating to change the rules after the game has started? ;) I'm just giving you a hard time! (Especially, since those early years have been the toughest for me! My dds assure me I can fill in most of those years with Oz books by L. Frank Baum -- not sure how many of those I'm anxious to read, though.)

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    1. Thank you Susan! It is unashamedly cheating, but it's my game so I'm making up the rules ;) I have to say, stumbling upon this change has made me feel rather happier about the whole thing.

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  3. Simon! Dr. Simon! What a relief.
    I was nearly as anxious for this news as I was for my son's law degree and my daughter's Master's degree. Can you hear the champagne cork from my house to yours?
    Congratulations. Your mum must be so happy.

    I also want to add that you're a marvelous blogger because you always find time to update. So many other bloggers become stale. Thank you for that.

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    1. Both Simon's mum and Simon's dad are thrilled - but not surprised! Images of his early days, learning to read when he was 4 & 5 irresistably come to mind. It's been a long and fascinating journey - now where will the *reading* road take you, Simon?

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    2. Memo to Our Vicar and Our Vicar's Wife: Speaking as a proud mother myself, the two of you have every right to be proud of him!

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    3. Thank you to all of you! I hope you enjoyed the champagne, Susan - I managed to leave a bottle in Somerset, so my cork-popping will be delayed.

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  4. Congratulations, Doctor! (It does have a lovely ring to it.)

    I seriously considered changing my century to 1815-1914, so I could include Emma. But I'd rather read the 1930s than the 1830s.

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    1. A very wise decision! As you see, I creep ever further away from the 19th century...

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    2. Although it would have been fun if we'd managed to have consecutive centuries...

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  5. Well done on both counts. Modern lit and old. Congrats on the doctorate to be.

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  6. That's fantastic! Congrats on doctoring!
    And doctoring your century too....well, as the originator and on your second lap, I think that's a fine idea. Starting at 1914 does make sense.

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    1. Thanks Melwyk! Excellent doctoring pun, may I say ;)

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  7. Wonderful news, Simon: huge congratulations! Sherpa should be bowing down before you now. ;-)

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    1. I wonder if she will respond differently next time we meet? Perhaps there will be a glimmer of respect in her eye...

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  8. Congrats again!
    Those early years are tough. I combed my library's catalog today to find potential reads and was not thrilled with the results other than Sister Carrie for 1900 - so I understand your shift.

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    1. Thanks! I am glad not to have to go through the process of finding books from those years... although may I recommend Beatrix Potter for some of them...

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  9. Since you already completed the Century of Books once and you invented it, I say you can do what ever you want now.

    Congratulations on your Doctorate!

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    1. Thanks Ruthiella! I am definitely playing the my-game-my-rules card, aren't I? ;)

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  10. Yes, we are all very comfortable with your new status. And thrilled for you. it is such an achievement , Simon. A

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  11. Many congratulations! Looking forward to your future accomplishments; I suspect that this is just the beginning.

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    1. That is very kind of you to say, thank you!

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  12. Hearty congratulations on attaining your doctorate.

    Sue

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  13. Congratulations, Dr. Thomas! So pleased for you!

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    1. Thanks Karen! It is lovely that it's come to an end, at long last :)

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  14. Well done on your viva! And, you know what, I was looking at all the excellent 21st century books I've got AND pondering the War, and this makes massive amounts of sense to me, so I think I'm going to join you. Hopefully knocking the 1913 one off the start will be balanced out by adding the newer ones on the end. I will NOT look yet, but I will look later ...

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    1. Thank you!
      I'm glad someone else is joining me in my somewhat eccentric century :)

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  15. Congratulations (Dr) Thomas! Your century shift seems eminently sensible, a practical solution.

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    1. Thank you Annabel! And thank you for the encouragement :) I think it does make for a good century.

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  16. Huge congratulations :-) I have just embarked on my PhD and can't imagine getting to the end yet. Or reading and writing about so many books along the way. You are an inspiration

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    1. That's such a lovely thing to say, thank you Victoria! I'm not gonna lie, it's a long haul - but I determined (before I started) that I'd only do it if I could read recreationally at the same time, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it. I hope you manage to find time for it all too!

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  17. Well done Dr. Thomas! That's some achievement! And enjoy your century - it is *your* century so you can read whatever dates you like - I'm sure that whatever you write about will be interesting!

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    1. Thank you so much Karen! I'm pretty excited about my century now (although it's off to a slow start, with thesis re-reading etc.) - and it's quite nice to be doing something a bit different from last time around.

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  18. Congratulations! Indeed you are not yet formally Dr Thomas, but I think we can all assume that you will complete those corrections in a few days and presumably the formal award will follow shortly afterwards. For me working for my PhD (though perhaps not writing up) was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life; I hope it has been (and will remain) the same for you.

    Best wishes, Peter

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    1. Thank you very much Peter! I think you possibly found your PhD more rewarding as a whole than I did my DPhil - but I suppose I spent more time writing up than you did, since all four years were essentially writing up periods interspersed with more fun periods in the archives and libraries!

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    2. That's an interesting point you make! I spent about 10 weeks (7 days per week I hasten to add) writing my thesis. I spent quite a lot of time at the beginning and at the end in libraries, but of course a huge amount of time in laboratories and writing computer code (in FORTRAN IV if anyone else out there remembers that).

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  19. Congrats almost-Dr Thomas. ;)

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  20. Well done, you. I am so impressed with how you achieve all your scholastic goals AND run a blog (or two) AND read a ton of books AND have a life. To say nothing fo the cat.

    I'd be inclined to go with the century ending with 2013. Otherwise, you'll be shut out of the current century, already slipping by so quickly.

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    1. Thank you Susan! I suspect I'd have finished quicker if I hadn't been determined to keep a life/study balance - but it was definitely worth being sane after 4 years than insane after 3!

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    2. What on earth is a life/study balance ?! I became addicted (and I think that is the right word) to my research during my PhD. Well done if you avoided becoming "dependent" (but perhaps you missed out on some "highs" too?)

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    3. I'm sure I did miss out on some of the highs! My DPhil was never my life, and I don't think I wanted it to be. Which is probably why I will not be a professional academic now!

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  21. Congratulations! Dr Thomas :) well deserved.
    That sounds like a good century to do I am considering doing this in 2015.

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    1. thanks Ali! How well prepared, planning for 2015 already!

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  22. Congratulations, so happy for you, and good luck with the new challenge! Look forward to reading your blogs as ever.
    sally Tarbox

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  23. Congratulations!

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  24. I'm a day late and a dollar short as usual but many congratulations, Simon!

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  25. After confusing myself considerably by reading that sentence as "I am now ... Dr Thomas Gosh", and thinking "I'm sure his name is Simon", I am now with the programme ~ many congratulations.

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  26. I guess I'm the last to arrive at the party, but congratulations. Excellent work!

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  27. Congratulations Simon, well done on your DPhil!

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  28. Congratulations! It must be really satisfying to have finished such a hefty chapter in your life - and to be (just about to be) Dr Thomas!

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  29. Congratulations Dr Thomas! I hope you are enjoying the sense of achievement. You said you're not going to be a professional academic, but I do hope we will meet again at a conference in future.

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    1. I certainly hope so! I'm going to keep doing the fun bits of academia :)

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  30. Belated congratulations on your doctorate and I look forward to hearing all about the 'new' century with you!

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