Loaded questions, right??
That’s what I thought, I also thought there are not many professions that obsess with ethics as much as communicators and therefore I was intrigued to know more. Get some insight and real thoughts and ideas of people working in the sector.
Therefore, this blog post will be about my journey while writing my dissertation and the next one will be about my main findings.
So, the scene… It was summertime in Leeds. Which this year meant grey and quite gloomy weather, which was good for writing. (Myself and the family did travel to the south of England twice in a week in the hope of catching some rays. Apparently, there was a heatwave in Yorkshire while we were away whilst it rained in the south! Typical!).
There is a HEAVILY pregnant woman dressed in a flowery dress with a crazy puppy at the size of a Shetland pony and 3 children running around her. She is reading, gathering data, typing away like there is no tomorrow, sending out emails, arranging phone calls, taking phone calls, writing more.
She goes on two holidays with her family where she spends most of her time alone in a caravan as she is both too much of a whale to keep up with them but also because she is married to her research this summer.
On one of the holidays she has to conduct an interview with a person from America. There is really bad WiFi at the holiday park so stresses beyond what she should, given her physical status. She goes between a library (which was hosting a private event) coffee houses and restaurants (too busy) to, finally, a big pub that accommodates her and her equipment in a nice, quiet and breezy side room.
Once the holidays are over, she returns home and is still pregnant, still doing interviews, still writing, just started nesting and is trying to stay sane at the same time (throughout this story you have to imagine the horse-dog and children running around her, almost at all times!)
Her pride takes a hit as she asks for an extension. Something had to give. She knew she could throw something together with what she had. However, she feels she owes it to herself and to the wonderful people that helped her out and gave their time and perspectives to do more than that. To actually process the data she had gathered. She got 6 extra weeks. Within those weeks she had to wrap it up, give birth and bond with the new baby… While she made sure the others were taken care of and didn’t feel rejected or left out.
On the 28th of August, 6 days past her due date she did one of the interviews. The fact she was pregnant comes up and she is congratulated and asked to send pictures once the baby is born. She tells the participant she would be induced the next day.
Once she finishes the interview, she decides to give her au pair the day off as she has a friend over from Iceland. Her oldest is away, her 8-year-old is good at keeping himself busy anyway and her partner is at work. Again, she would be induced the next day. She crawls into bed with her two-year-old for a nap. 30 minutes later her water breaks and all hell breaks loose as she is home alone with two children. She definitely does not want to traumatise or scare them. She texts her partner who asks her if she has gone insane and why on earth she decided to give the nanny the day off, given the circumstances. He comes home on two wheels and frantically calls the au pair telling her to come home and guides her (as she is new to Leeds) how to do so. Meanwhile, the pregnant lady speaks with a yoga voice and tries to calm him down and keep everyone else calm. No one could afford for her to lose her marbles as well!
8 days before the original submission deadline the baby comes, at 00.04 on the 29th of September. A beautiful little girl. She is named after an Icelandic volcano and the sun. Katla Sól. She is very calm and just perfect for the situation she is born into, the perfect fit!
The now not heavily pregnant lady has to keep writing. But she also has to live up to her promises. In a fit of optimism and deliria she had invited a handful (okay, a few handfuls) of her classmates to a post-dissertation party on the day of submission. Of course, she couldn’t let them down! Who would do such a thing?? To be honest, normally she would have postponed. She couldn’t have foreseen that she would go a week over the due date nor that she would be the only one in the party that had actually not submitted yet. However, some of her fabulous classmates were about to leave. Go to different places in the UK or even leaving the UK altogether.
Therefore, she cooks for an army. Some lovely Mexican soup and Icelandic bread courses. She also buys a truckload of alcohol, even though she would only have one drink herself, giving the fact she is breastfeeding. And she throws a party!
It was a great gathering, and when everyone had a drink in hand and food on a plate (or in a bowl) she took the new-born baby and sat down and put her feet up. She knew full well the following day she had to keep writing.
After many stressful days (nights) where she went to bed when other family members got out of theirs she got to a point of saturation. Having said that, she knew she could better it. She knew where she could add a little meat on the bones. However, this was a question of knowing when to stop. To let go and enjoy her family and life. Turn the dissertation in and add to it later, if she decided to get further education.
This is a topic that one can research endlessly, from different angles, with different focus in mind etc. And so many came to mind! I loved it and most of all I loved discussions about it with other people, the participants, my family and friends and other people in my network. There were so many different opinions and inputs.
But I had to stop and I did so. I finished and I have now graduated!!
Next post will reveal my findings and things that I found especially interesting or, for some reason, intriguing.