do you really need a new app?

today, there are many many apps you can download on your laptop, smart phone or iPad. many of these apps could promise you a complete comfort or solving annoying problems, or just to make your life much easier. Most of these promising apps come with a high price tag, others could be free…but the main question remains: which one i do need and which one will really solve my problem?
as a phd students trying to seek any help while writing my dissertation, trying to purchase some of these apps….do i really use them? not really.
I bought organizing apps, i bought an app to help me writing, i download more organizing apps and more helping apps in writing, and so forth. you got the idea. and which one i really use? none. why? for different reasons, but i believe if they really are helping me and bridging a gap, i would not give up on them. most of them are hard to figure and i have no time to go back to the manual each time i want to figure out some, which means it has an usability issue. so i end up with more complicated problems.
in this time where everyone is in rush, and you need your materials to be ready yesterday, there is no time to lose learning a new app that should make your life easier, especially if it costs you $$$, and you are only a student counting each cent.
but what do you think? it would be great to read your experience regarding apps, please feel free to add your two cents here.

WHAT YOU REALLY LIKE?

i have been thinking outside the PhD materials (i know…not normal, LOL), and would like to share few thoughts with you, I would like to know what u think also.

i went to bed yesterday reading an article (i’ll try to post here later) about being yourself. just act as you like. forget about what people expect from you, what society expects from you, and forget about the standards that you put according to your labels. the article goes on to stress the fact how difficult would be to understand and know what YOU REALLY LIKE, where frameworks disappear and you have to create ur own….hmmmmm…difficult? oh yes.
every time, i feel down my sons ask me to do what i really like. i answer back: i donot know any more what i like, i forget what i like to do, and i find it hard to find what i like in the middle of my duties as a wife, a mother, a PhD candidate, a citizen, a friend, a researcher, a….. and the list goes on and on.
the idea of “i have to finish my dissertation at the expected time and in the perfect form” dominates my life and blinds me from living completely. being perfect for the labels i named myself with, stress me more than making me happy, and now what? but hey, isnot doing a PhD is kind of self discovery? is it what should be something i really really like to do? well it is, but it looks there are other elements into it.  i believe we should not let the PhD controlling us, but we should have the upper hand. but how? people would say: being organized, know your materials, have a schedule …etc etc….do all of these work for you? do you really work by dead line? knowing you are not acting alone, so it is not really only your time. it is the supervisor’s, the people u r collecting data from, your committees…and so on..
however, it would be helpful to talk to other PhD students, take longer real break away from writing to come back and be able to see the gaps, have different of activities, and do not disconnect from real life..and do what you really really like to do without explaining, for example if you like to paint then go ahead and find your inner self…..do you have other suggestions? please share with us….

is there a link between PhD and Moby Dick?

since PhD students are real people and live in a real world, and have a real life duties, a good question would be raised: how to live the two lives? PhD students are expected to work 24 hours, between writing journal papers, conference workshops and papers, deadlines projects, seminar contributions, dissertation research project, on-working literature review, blogging, emails, discussion forums, social networking, and if we do not want to mention teaching duties or any other working related duties…..

PLUS

a PhD student is a real human being, need healthy habits such as good real food, excercise, some entertainment, jobs, socializing, and if not talking about those are responsible for family with children and babies….

depressing enough?

however, the key to manage these lives is organizing, sharing, asking for support, and have lower expectations.

for example, the house does not have to be super clean, lundary can wait for another day. kids can eat pizza once a week, and it is ok to say that u have a busy week, and u need some sleep. it is ok to share ur tricks with ur colleagues. no one is a super hero.

some say that having a Phd is not about being super smart, but being able to manage, organize, and know how to do it profesionaly. does it mean: to survive? does it mean that u should be Ishmael in Moby Dick to be a “Dr”?

the most important thing is to know how to live this extraordinary experience while having fun, growing and live….

PhD concern

Today I was searching for help on the net (as usual) for advices to help me finish my PhD. I came across a panel discussion set by a UK university giving tips to PhD students on writing and finishing the painful process. all can be said in few words: read 3 journal articles per week, read 2-3 books each month and write 200 words every day. they also highlight the importance of giving some time to think (reflective thinking), which i believe is an important element in the procedure.

Ok..now does writing Blogs count? i think it does if one’s blog is an academic one and the place to write down own ideas and research notes..why not?

on the other hand, I had this idea when i was writing the previous lines. easily i could cope and past the link to that web site that included the information insted of writing it. that means no writing for me. so the question here if the net encourages for less writing? i have read an article (online)while ago (mentioned by my supervisor actually) raising the question: does the internet makes us different reader (or less)? the author has a point, he argued that he used to read all these long book like ear and piece, nowadays he has no patinets for that. he reserves his time to surfe the net, quick reading, scanning..and so forth. between emails, facebook, wikipeidia and recently the twitter i believe we are not only communicate differently but also we seek information differently and try to bridge the information gap in a very different approach.
is it the inforamtion revolution? the technology booming? or the differnet expectation? i believe all the above plus some other issues i might find later.

now…are these words count for 200? did i do it? i know it is not a pure academic writing, but still it is some serious writing trying to tickle some ideas, right? plus i know i need to practice writing since English is not my first toungue.