The PhD and The Last Of Us

In summer 2013, parenthood was rapidly approaching. My wife was only a few months away from giving birth to our daughter, we had moved house and were trying to get what decorating and DIY we could done. I was delivering as many workshops as possible in order to take several months off when we had the baby, and wondering what was going to happen…

…and I bought a PS3.

When it came out the latest game was The Last Of Us. I’ve played some great games since I got a PS3 – and back when I had a PS2 – but The Last Of Us is just something else. I don’t know if I will ever play a game so rewarding, so challenging, so emotionally satisfying as The Last Of Us. The emotional themes, the scary creatures, the inter-character dynamics and the wonderfully overgrown landscapes just put it way ahead of the pack for me.

Hang on a minute, thinks the reader, isn’t this a blog that is normally to do with PhDs and vivas and things like that? It is, and here’s where I’m going with this train of thought: there is no video game that sums up the PhD experience better than The Last Of Us.


10 Questions For The Next Year Of Your PhD

Starting another year of your PhD?

Congratulations! I’ll bet it’s been tough so far, but you’re making progress I’m sure. As you start another year it’s a good time to take a step back and reflect. Here are ten questions to get you started.

What have you done in the last year? List all of the different things that you have accomplished, in particular things that you have done which have a direct impact on your thesis. Take some time listing these; you have probably done a lot more than you first think of.

What’s been the most difficult thing that you have achieved? Think carefully about what was really tricky and what you did to overcome it. Something like this might crop up again in the future, and you’ll know how to tackle it then.


10 Questions To Ask Yourself At The Start Of Your PhD

So you’re starting a PhD! Congratulations!

October is a time of year that heralds many new starters in postgraduate research. It is ten years to the day that I arrived at Room 524, my office, sat down at my desk and wondered, “What the hell am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing here? Should I just read through my Masters notes until my supervisor calls for me?”

Three interesting questions… But I can think of three better questions to ask yourself at the start of a PhD – in fact I can think of ten! It might be useful for you to work through these and make some notes. They can form the basis for later plans and review.