The institutionalisation of I – 90

PhD Life

I have not been very active on here for the last few months. The reason for this is that I have had next to no motivation to write.
I have spent a lot of time on a website called Kaggle, which is a website for competing in data science tasks. So, it is not as if I have been idle, it’s that I have picked up a new hobby, and writing for this blog has slid to the bottom of the list.

Changing passions every few years is the modus operandi of my personality. Would I choose this trait if I had the choice? No. The reason being is that I tend to get good at a lot of things, but never master anything. If I could just stick with something long enough to learn it, then I would probably much better financially. One sure-fire way to get paid well is to be an expert in a domain. I imagine most people are like me and enjoy lots of different things, and never become a master at anything, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

Speaking of other things, I was recently asked if I would like to join a site that was setting itself up as the audio equivalent of YouTube. They asked if I wanted to audio versions of this blog. I find the idea quite interesting, I would still have to write to make scripts, but I would also have to get good at speaking. Something that I don’t do a lot of!

What are your thoughts on having an audio version of a blog?

Although my motivation is almost gone, I will continue with this blog. I am now about half-way through my PhD and feel as if I cannot stop now. I will drag myself over the line. Hating your PhD by the end of it is a time-honoured tradition and who am I to break with tradition.

I have signed up to work in the Universities call-centre for one day next week. The job is to accept or reject students to the university based on their A-level results. I have never worked in a call centre before so that will be an exciting experience!

What I have realised after signing up for this is that I am somewhat institutionalised. Turning up at a particular time and staying in one room to the end of the day isn’t something I have had to very much in the last five years. During my studies, I have been fortunate enough to do what I want when I want. So long as the project progresses and the work gets done, no one asks questions. The thought of going to an office to work seems alien to me. When I leave academia, I will be aiming for a job that allows working remotely and flexibly. Turning up to a certain location for a set period of time seems very antiquated to me now, and I wonder how I put up with it before I became a student.

I can see why people tend to stay in academia now, you do become institutionalised in some sense.

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

32 thoughts on “The institutionalisation of I – 90

  1. Changing passions every few years makes it hard to be excellent in any one area. So I suspect you’re right . . . it’s harder to be okay financially if you change passions a lot.

    Hmm, an audio version of a blog. I guess that’s like a podcast. I’m more of a reader than listener, so it’s not my cup of tea, but maybe other people are listeners instead of readers.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Changing passions every few years in the cognitive and educative sense, (not instead in the sense of affiliations), is a tough bet which may offer you the chance to assemble true Philosophy, in a timely manner & at a mature age.
      I wouldn’t change that approach to knowledge for any ultimate utopian specialization, salary or bonus.
      Aim, score; enjoy or instead… retry 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think doing an audio version or even a video version is a great idea. I personally prefer reading blogs but you reach more people with sound and video. Their are a ton of people who do listen to things rather then read at work. Plus, speaking is a useful talent worth practicing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “During my studies, I have been fortunate enough to do what I want when I want. So long as the project progresses and the work gets done, no one asks questions. The thought of going to an office to work seems alien to me. When I leave academia, I will be aiming for a job that allows working remotely and flexibly.”

    I could not agree with this more!! I have realized how important flexibility in my job is for me now and will try to maintain it for as long as possible 🙂 And if the job gets done anyway, I don’t see why people should ask questions!

    Great post 🙂

    Kat x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Changing passions every few years is the modus operandi of my personality.” Those words ring so true with my personality as well. Every 3 to 5 years I find myself finding a new passion that I get heavily involved with, then somehow move on to something else. This is not just professionally (I have become expert in several areas of IT) but also personally (skipping from something like long distance running/exploring to learning a language). It’s a strange phenomenon because it’s not so much a loss of interest, but instead finding something else that makes more sense at the time. Perhaps you could call it a life ruled by passion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi there Louis – I’m so happy to hear that you’re going to continue with this blog. It’s very interesting to read about your adventures in academia. I’m a student of learning, so your insight and transparency are definitely appreciated. I’m also intrigued with the audio blog idea as I’m researching on creating an audio book for my self-published book. Audio consumption is definitely on the rise. (I’ve even succumbed to the wave as I find myself going to YouTube and listening to the audio while doing things around the house or driving in my car.) So, I would enjoy hearing more on this topic of audio blogging if you’re interested in sharing more. I’ll be looking forward to more of your content.:)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You sound like you’re still finding out who you are and for many people, it’s never fixed. You enjoy and are intrigued by lots of things and that’s what is wonderful, never boring. Keep exploring-it’s a big world out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The intelligence community, the area that researches and investigates, is already listening to writing which really is sound in another area. With a little more data, you are discussing an interest that is knowledgable now. Take your time with everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m going to go out on a limb here and proclaim the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” should get kicked to the curb. My younger daughter calls me “extra”, like that’s a bad thing. In my mind, there is nothing wrong with having mutliple interests. Makes one more “interesting” and your life is never boring. And I have to thank you up front, Louis, because this post actually inspired a post I’m going to write and publish in a week.

    I don’t blog just for the fun of it either. I’m a book author gearing up to release my first novel soon. For me, video and audio will have to be included in my business plan, if I don’t wish to leave money on the table. I’m a shy introvert and hated public speaking in school. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also become less afraid to push myself. All the hard stuff I’ve accomplished so far, whether I wanted to do it or not, hasn’t killed me yet. However, there is nothing wrong with baby steps either. If I’m going to push myself and do those mediums on my own, they will probably be offered as exclusive content on Patreon first.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. First, I’m one of those who enjoy lots of different things, and never become a master at anything 😀
    I write whenever and whatever I like; I’ve published one novel and some short stories, I’ve written and composed about 200s songs, and now I’m doing this special blog about KPop. In my free time, which about 20 hours a day, I get busy playing games, watching youtube and enjoy life 😀
    Second, English is not my mother tongue. I’m an Indonesian, live in Indonesia for my whole life and I don’t even like travelling. I’d rather stay at home all day and work from home, if I could. But technology makes everything possible; I can always learn something new, meet new people, see the rest of the world and I realize that the only thing that can stop me from achieving something is my own determination.
    Life can be very demanding, or at least that’s the way we see it, but life can also be very simple. I understand that you’re polishing your academic writing skill and you’re working on your thesis. If I were you, I would focus on the content of my thesis first and find the best way to deliver it later. I always do my songs that way. I hope you enjoy every process that you’ll go through all the way to PhD and I hope you are happy with your life and with whatever you do. In the end, what makes us happy is what really matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Do whatever is easier for you with your blog, audio or writing, it’s all good. We all take breaks from things we love, it’s just taking a break (or called losing your mojo). Mojo’s come back and you love it all over again. Even I lose my mojo for knitting and spinning from time to time, but it always comes back and I love it just as much. 🙂 Don’t feel guilty when you lose your mojo, just means you need a break :). Eventually when you find your work passion you will stick with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. From someone with some years on the road: carry on, writing comes and goes in waves of love and hate, accept the flow. As far as changing passions, I did that a lot. I used to dislike that, until I realized that diverse knowledge is always beneficial for growth and part of the road to discovery. Once I accepted that, a main interest took center stage, but I still allocate a bit of time for minor passions because I realized that all these passions were indeed only one: learning.
    Good luck 🍀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had to do some basic statistics for my studies, but really enjoyed coding as a hobby. Then found kaggle and have loved competing in the ‘beginner’ competitions. I want to compete in some of the bigger competitions, but I joined at a time when deep learning was the bulk of the competitions, so I am in the middle of learning that at the moment. Do you compete?


  12. I can relate to the changing passions every few years thing. That’s how I’ve always been, though there are a few passions that have stuck with me through the years (writing and gardening, neither of which tend to generate income, unfortunately). But there’s joy in being a generalist, exploring a wide range of what life has to offer.

    Good luck with the rest of your PhD!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet, glad to know there are others out there. I have assumed that as I advance in age I will get into gardening! Just need to afford a property with a garden.


  13. Very well written, I like your style. As you may have noticed, I have started a blog, and find it almost exciting to write. My plan is to eventually roll over to YouTube eventually, and audio versions seem like a great way to cross over to that medium without the massive change in content required from blogging to vlogging.

    Not sure if I can insert links into my site for audio versions but I will start recording them as well from now on so I don’t have loads to do when I work out how to add them in.

    If you could post a link to the site you mentioned I’d really appreciate it.

    I am also a person of many talents with few mastered, which I have been able to utilise for my career. I used to think it was a bad thing, but a few of my managers have praised my abilities over the years; always look at the positive outcomes of your various skills and you should succeed.

    Hope to read more of your writing in the not so distant future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The site was called openmic. I just checked and it no longer exists, or my browser is blocking it for some reason.

      Producing audio and video content does seem like a good learning opportunity for people like us.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Never stop reading. Your passion for writing will surely return. Itś hard work, yes, but it is worth all your time and what you eventually miss. All is a question of the life we have been given and what we are meant for. Take care of it!
    Good Luck.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. …mostly un-predicted emergences (other things, ie wireless, the quantity of information exploding, forms of electronic tribalism, ecc., instead were,) likely…before your parents met, audio (and poetry) have and continue to rapidly expand. In hindsight, for obvious reasons (a bit like, say to compare, the beer industry in the US: something like 600 licensed breweries before prohibition, then 4, pause and resistance to other forms for a time, then local and alternative growing until making up a relevant and the most profitable part of the whole.) An audio version would be great, and at times a lot faster for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Good luck on finishing your PhD, Louis. It is a long haul! Just curious, you mention I-90 in your title. Are “institutionalized” along that corridor somewhere? It is a long road – just like getting your degree! I enjoyed your post! Thanks for stopping by mine!

    Liked by 1 person

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