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relieved .. a bit ..

Wednesday, 31 October 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

for the second time in the past 6 weeks i walked down to the devonshire house, where the faculty thesis office is located in the university of manchester. six weeks ago i handed in the notice of submission. this afternoon, 31 october 2007 at 14.30, i handed in my PhD thesis. the soft binding copies.

i feel relieved. as if a load has been taken off from myself. but it is not the end. in fact, anything can happen during the viva-voce, which is scheduled to be in early december –roughly 5 weeks from now.

when i walked down the devonshire corridor, my thought flew to the moment three years ago. on the 1st july 2004 i and my wife landed in manchester airport. only with a partial scholarship. in october 2004 when i formally started the PhD programme, we had to move to a much smaller flat, far away from the campus, as we did not have enough money to stay in the university’s family accommodation. my wife was pregnant at that time. it was quite a stressful period for us. fortunately, i was accepted as a partime research assistant. so i worked on my PhD only 2.5 days a week and the other 2.5 was for my work. practically it was a PhD part-time. 3 years working and doing PhD at the same time …

it was only in 2005 when we managed to move a slightly bigger flat (and much closer to the university) when we had our first kid. i was thankful that the university was generous enough to provide me a good and well paid job (i was promoted four times in two years, from spine 5 grade 4 to spine 4 grade 5), on which my family’s survival depended on. but most of all, my wife, ira, has been the greatest support. without her all of this is impossible. she takes care of our kids and gives me enough time to concentrate on my PhD. it is certainly very difficult and hard for her, i know that for sure. i would never be able to thank her enough for this.

in december 2006, when i already wrote 4 chapters, i was challenged by a french professor who happened to be the advisor for the PhD students here, to produce a “different kind” of thesis. the anglo-saxon style was considered to be “conventional” in the sense that it contained a standardised intro-litrev-meth-data-finding-discussion-conclusion. i was challenged if i could do a “stand-alone chapters” so that my thesis would be intro-article1-article2-approach-finding1-finding2-findin3-finding4-metadiscussion-analysis. perhaps it was a big mistake that i did not turned down the challenge. if i did, i would have submitted my PhD last april and i could have had my PhD title by last july and thus 2 years 9 months only.

yet, i did not. i chose to take up the challenge despite that my partial scholarship ended in july (then extended into december). so i restructured everything started in january. i worked like crazy. both PhD and research work here. and again, it was (and is) my family who was (and is) sufferring. i know that i have not spent enough time with them. i know that i have not given them enough attention as i kept working until 2.00-3.00am everyday. it was horrible. even, to make possible for me to submit within 3 years, my wife and my kids opted to go back to pontianak last month so that i had enough time to finish my thesis.

those are all the sacrifices that they have done for me. there must be much more that i don’t know, e.g. my wife’s feelings, my kids’ desire for their father’s proper attention, etc. i won’t be able to thank them enough for this. i think, if i knew that the sacrifice would be that much, i might have turned down that challenge.

now, here i am. i managed to submit within 3 years. i may be among the few in this research centre who could finish their research a bit earlier. and now i just want to do my viva. whatever the result will be. to be honest, i don’t really care now about the result. what i want now is to see and join with my family again.

but very likely, i might still be staying here in the UK (and manchester) for another couple of years. yesterday i was just offered a position as a research associate in this university as soon as i am awarded my PhD. a bit unusual because usually someone has to take a postdoc first before being offered as a research associate. i felt honoured (and flattered), but nothing is conclusive by now. there is a long procedure to follow if i want to take up that offer. and there are things to consider as well. i want to do something that really interests me and i need to be sure that the associateship scheme can accommodate this. otherwise, i will just go home. i don’t want to waste my time here in the UK doing something meaningless although very well-paid (e.g. continuing EU projects only without having time for my own research interest). so, i cannot say anything by now, although i am a bit more optimistic than i was before — that i would be able to stay here for another 2-3 years before heading back to my NGO in indonesia.

but this is all a big decision and i don’t want to decide alone. i want my family involved in this decision. because it is not just about working here as i said before. more importantly, it is about my family. i want to repay the time i have lost with them. i now want to make up what i have lost. if i take this offer of being a research associate, i want them to return here and make the most of it.

so, again, wish me luck, guys. for my viva, for my work arrangement, for my family — so that we can reunite again not in a very long time. and, a big THANK YOU for your kind and generous support during my study!

picture: my bookshelf two minutes ago. personal collection

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    waaahhh… perjalanan panjang yang berliku-liku ya mas…. nyentuh banget…^_^…. semoga berhasil dengan apa yg diinginkan dan bisa kembali bersama dengan keluarganya…

  2. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    well done mas yanuar. everyone certainly have their own story to tell, their own challenges, and their opportunities. unfortunately nothing is perfect in this world. you need to balance your desire with the limitations that imposed upon us. on the other hand….ayo deh main ke rumah, kita bisa ngobrol panjang lebar….he..he….

  3. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    Yanuar, akhirnya selesai juga dikau.. Wah, salut yan, semangatmu belajar masih seperti jaman kuliah dulu. Well done!I am sure you’ll do well in whatever you decide to do.

  4. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    good luck my dear friend!all the best.. i’m sure you can achieve what you wish and best regards for your family, too!

  5. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    terima kasih mbak ita. semoga mbak ita juga krasan dengan pekerjaan di manchester dan mas rama juga segera selesai PhDnya – dan tentu adik-adik juga happy di sini ..πŸ™‚

  6. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    mas dono, thanks a lot. dan tentu invitation-nya untuk ke rumah saya terima dengan senang hati. tak ngatur jadwal dulu ya. soalnya saya juga pindahan rumah dalam bulan ini. mau jadi anak kos dulu sampai semuanya jelas (nerusin di sini atau balik kanan bubar jalan). ntar tak kabari lagi ..πŸ™‚

  7. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    isdiana said: semangatmu belajar masih seperti jaman kuliah dulu.

    lho. ini juga “sekolah” lho din ..πŸ™‚ anyway, thanks. termasuk ikut ngrepoti kamu membaca beberapa lembar thesisku ..πŸ™‚ salam buat keith dan adam.

  8. Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 12:00 am

    thanks, trin. this is just a step. you’ll also be there. soal ke depan, ntar pasti tak kabarin gimana jadinya. apa mau terus di sini buat research associate-ship atau postdoc fellowship, atau pulang kampung ke solo ..πŸ™‚ seneng lihat sistha ceria gitu. kok foto bapaknya ndak ada? salam buat pasco ya!

  9. Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    Selamat Mas…Semoga sukses juga vivanya..Kapan ke newcastle?

  10. Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    yanuar, congrats for finishing your thesis. more challenges are coming ahead. good luck with the job at home. thats exactly what the country need from a new devoted phd. btw, is that handbook of sts on your selves? a new edition is coming out next week.

  11. Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    terima kasih, mbak. wah, belum tahu kapan bisa main-main. soalnya ini ngurusin pindahan rumah ..πŸ™‚ nanti kalau ke newcastle pasti saya kabari ..πŸ™‚ salam untuk keluarga ya mbak. oya, ada salam juga dari yuli ..;-)

  12. Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    mas sul, thanks! i hope the viva will also be alright. job is not certain at the moment. i’m currently negotiating with the uni about their offer esp about the slot that i can conduct my own research (maybe a bit different compared to the US’ system). but that’s my aim of being here: to do something meaningful for me (and hopefully for NGO/CSO movement back in indonesia). otherwise, i will just pack and go home, back to my NGO. STS? yes. that’s actually my “original” field of research before i was tempted to look at the link between innovations and social change facilitated by CSO. thanks for letting me know the new edition. i could not find (yet) dave’s book you mentioned here in the UK-based website/bookshop. if i buy it from amazon-US, the import duty is crazy. so i guess i have to be patient ..

  13. Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    Wah mas, such an inspiring story. Congrats mas!! it is a great achievement so far already!! But big efforts deserve a big reward indeed!! And it seems that you’ll have it. Apparently idealism and ambition can go at the same time, eventually. Such a big relieve to know that ;)Best of luck for the viva and the job! I’ll keep my finger cross!!

  14. Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    ynugroho said: . i could not find (yet) dave’s book you mentioned here in the UK-based website/bookshop. if i buy it from amazon-US, the import duty is crazy. so i guess i have to be patient .

    give me your email, i;ll send you his sthv article on this topic, which is one of the book’s chapters.

  15. Friday, 2 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    congrats for the manuscript!!! the best thesis is the done one!πŸ™‚ you’ll do well on the viva…. viva viva :)and double congrats for the research associate job… regardless what your decision is.

  16. Friday, 2 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    sayentika said: Apparently idealism and ambition can go at the same time

    tika, thanks. i cannot say a word about “idealism-ambition” at the moment. far too premature. but sure, it will be one of the topics in our many chats over coffee ..πŸ™‚

  17. Friday, 2 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    merlyna said: double congrats for the research associate job

    mer, thanks. when i was struggling with my literature review, my supervisors once asked, “why are you citing so many of lim’s work?”. i replied, “well, firstly they’re relevant. secondly, she’s my friend.” they laughed … and after they read by themselves your works, they could not agree more. so, you’ve helped me with what you’ve done .. :-)on the job, i am negotiating on monday noon next week. let’s see. i hope the director would give me some space to whatever i want to do … :-)how’s your session in yogyakarta?

  18. Saturday, 3 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    Doktor Yanuar, bade ngaturaken congrats. jangan lupa: this is only the beginning.more to come ahead.(mdh2an saya ketularan juga ndang lulus…:)

  19. Saturday, 3 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    ynugroho said: secondly, she’s my friend

    hahaha… good answer. perhaps only the second reason that counts…. hehehe.jokja baru mulai sore ini. aku udah di jokja dan ketemu mas Idaman dan MPers di sini. belum jalan2, tapi jokja is awesome, of course. i know it will be great.

  20. Monday, 5 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    merlyna said: jokja is awesome, of course. i know it will be great.

    having jokja as part of my life, i know it is and it always will be. so, enjoy it. merlyna in jokja — great, isn’t it? you should print that on your t-shirt. ask idaman to make it one for you!

  21. Monday, 5 November 2007 at 12:00 am

    aku ki durung lulus mas. jadi congratsnya nanti dulu … hehehee … mengko yen viva-ne amburadul gek kepiye? ning yo nyuwun pangestu yo. panjenengan yo mesti bakal lancar-lancar wae. aku yakin kuwi …πŸ™‚

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