Spent two and a half days blissful at Lancaster Business School this week being a student. The occasion was one of an series of get-togethers which are arranged for the disparate group (numbering a potential 30) of part-time PhD in Management Learning and Leadership candidates.
I deliberately drove up a day early to be able to spend some time in the library there doing some writing and making some last-minute adjustments to the presentation slides for my slot, on Thursday morning, during which I was due to outline my thoughts and deeds so far.
The library, like many central university libraries during term time, was full of people younger than myself, many reading, some typing, most multi-tasking study with chat. Time zipped by. This joy of retreat into library environment to think and write is a new discovery for me, and when I can I also sneak away from my office (no chance of doing anything other than admin there) and off to the library at Henley, where I have to overcome the odd looks from some of the students; it's an odd sensation of having 'crossed the line' into learning territory.
The presentation went well, with a balance of counter-point opinion voiced and compliments made to make me feel that the ordeal of verbalising your thoughts to an academic audience just sharpens your thinking. Where I'm falling short at the moment is in getting through more reading and getting on with more writing. Always be writing - this appears to be a maxim for actually completing a PhD.
The whole experience continues to be good. After all, 12 months ago, there's no way I would have been reading a book called "The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead" (which sounds like a Tintin adventure, I know).