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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

23/11/23 - Progress Monitoring 1: Reflecting

Progress Monitoring 1: Reflecting


23rd Nov:

Post PM1: Reflecting on progress and outcome



A week has passed since I presented my VIVA to members of the Faculty of Arts team at university. A month has passed since I submitted my PM1 report to my supervisor and department…


This entry is a short one, and one that reflects on the lead up to both PM1 stages and what occurred after submission points.


Currently I am in post submission ‘holiday’ mode. I have taken a week off from any form of university work, although switching off one’s research mind is very difficult, and after my VIVA feedback, it only confirms how hard it is to step slightly away from one’s research. I do always find it crucial for anyone’s learning to sometimes just give yourself a short break. You do not want to burn yourself out, and when you are in a consistent drive of non-stop repetitive work, it can become quite unhealthy and slightly dangerous at times. I do reiterate this concern and method to my own student’s (not the ones who are constantly on ‘holiday’ from their work…) as they like to forget that it is possible to just give themselves a break from studying.


I myself, as I lead up to the submission of my report, made sure to take some days off from the week to reset my thinking and work into my hobbies and the pleasures of my life. I believe that helped quite a lot, as I found myself at times, very much closed off from the world. My family and friends understood how busy my life had become with this lead up to the submission point. That was helpful to know and recognise that they were supporting my needs and giving me time to study however, I still felt a slight pressure to make time for them, and in the back of my mind it did give me some stress. On top of this, I work four days a week teaching, and my workload is heavy, there is a lot to sort out, and even though I try not to take my work home, unfortunately at times I must do so. My colleague Sarah tells me I am mad, working and studying… I believe she is right!


The build-up to the report submission was growing more and more challenging and intensifying each day. Myself and my lead supervisor were in a state of constant dialogue on a weekly to bi-weekly format. The decision was made to work between ourselves and although my supervisory was of three staff members, we believe it would be beneficial for myself to focus on one viewpoint. This is not to say at any point that my co-supervisor’s input is not worthy, absolutely not! I am consistently grateful for their time, input, incredible knowledge, and support but at this stage a decision was made to keep contact just between myself and my lead supervisor. I do regret not communicating with my co-supervisors and informing them of this decision, but I believe this was due to mind being solely focussed on the task at hand. Having regular contact with my supervisor was great, even if contact would happen at 23:50pm… it did not matter, as long as communication was evident, it enabled me to take away information to support the development of the PM1 report.


With the report, I broke it up into many chapters and sub-chapters. The report was only supposed to be around 3000-6000 words and I somehow managed to write 9000 and more. This was not a problem as this report filters into the overall 40000-word PhD thesis. It was at first difficult to get my head around, the structure and content but again with supervisory support I was able to layout a generic template to get my head into how this report would function.


1.0 Abstract……………………………………………………………………………......... 3

1.1 Aim ………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

1.2 Objectives ………………………………………………………………………………. 3


2.0 Literature Review …………………………………………………………………….... 4

2.1 Wilderness and Experience…………………………………………………….……... 4

2.2 Landscape …………………………………………………………………….………... 7

2.3 Practice ………………………………………………………………………………... 10

2.4 Sublime ………………………………………………………………………………... 11

2.5 Selected Works ………………………………………………………………………. 14


3.0 Moving Forward ………………………………………………………………………. 18

3:1 Methods of Practice ………………………………………………………………….. 19


4:0 Artistic Processes and Outcomes ………………………………………………….. 22


5:0 Timetable of Events ………………………………………………………………….. 26


Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………..… 27

Figures …………………………………………………………………………………...... 28


As you can see, there are not many chapters but (clearly evidenced within the literature review) sub chapters take over the body of the text. Sub-chapters I do enjoy, they break up a whole of a topic into sections that can compose an overall thought. They bring in certain key elements of that part of the research, and intertwine and glue elements together, and that is enjoyable to read and see. Sub-chapters containing such evidence confirmed to me that I was on the right course with my reading and that I was within the right research field.


*As I understand I am starting to go into detail, I will bring this entry back a little and attempt to be brief on what it is I want to state about the report.


It goes without saying, that this report was something I had not experienced before. Although I have years of writing experience, I had not encountered or attempted to write on such an extensive level and within a concise framework that had to put across my own findings from eighteen months of research. I had to push myself and be strict with my daily and evening routines (mostly evening) to stay focussed and on track with trying to develop this report into a worthwhile piece of writing. It goes without saying, that the support I received from my supervisor was truly beneficial. Anneke was able to formulate my writing into one; a constructed document to academic standard and two; take the time to correct and suggest areas for development and refinement. What has come from this is that I have gained a much deeper and clearer understanding of how to engage on a complex writing/research task and be able to recognise how to formulate such knowledge and research into an academic format.


The VIVA: the thirty-minute presentation I had no concerns about… well my confidence got the better of me and I left with a minor referral, the disappointment I felt after hearing that feedback. I knew the referral was coming when certain questions and concerns were thrown at me. I can see why this has occurred and although I will not explain what was said (as this will become clear with further blog entries), when looking back at my research and its current state it does not specifically identify key factors that are the bedrock of my research. I am disappointed but I believe this actually puts me in a good position as I now able to go away and cement my knowledge within my field and be able to have the confidence to clearly pinpoint facts and concepts within the research. I have twelve weeks to submit a report on the key points needed… wish me luck!






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