Monday, September 26, 2011

Not here

I've spent more than 13 months abroad doing field work for my Ph.D. My husband was able to come for a month just after we got married, but mostly he's been back at home while I'm out here busting my butt, trying to make my trips long enough to be worthwhile but also trying to minimize my time away from home. 

This is the last trip I have planned for data collection for my Ph.D. There are many projects that I could easily continue working on here, but I have put a firm deadline on the completion of my Ph.D. fieldwork. Will I continue working here as Dr. Anirak? I don't want to rule it out completely, but I also like the idea of having a field site much closer to wherever I'm living. I imagine I'll continue to be involved in research here from a distance, maybe with occasional short trips (less than a month).

One big reason for a fixed endpoint for my field work is so that we can have kids. I can think of no compelling reason that I should not have a kid before I finish my Ph.D. once this field work is out of the way. My American friend here tried to convince me that I'd have no problem doing field work while being pregnant or with a baby in tow, but my husband convinced me that was a terrible idea, and I think he was right. In grad school, but not here.


gigirose said...

I second having a baby before you finish PhD (but after you finish fieldwork). Your time is so much more flexible right now than if you had a strict 9-5. Taking a baby in the field is no picnic, though. Definitely shooting for the post-fieldwork pre-graduation window is an awesome way to do it. Go you!

Alexandra said...

I agree with your husband. Having a baby in tow or a bun in the oven while you're there doesn't sound like a good decision.

penn said...

This is what several of my PhD friends have done -- have the baby post field work and pre-defense. Except my friend in theory; she works on a computer, so she had a baby and worked creative hours to take care of child care.

I think one friend had a little field & lab work left after her baby was born, but she also did field work an hour from home, so it's not quite the commitment.