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Mindmap, ethnography and the smell of coffee

February 4, 2013

The smell of coffee

A few months ago I blogged about starting the literature search for my PhD, fair to say I had got myself into thinking that from the outset I had to set myself on an unshakeable course.  Coffee aromaI had to get the perfect literature search completed in order that I developed from an unshakeable foundation, a foundation that was unassailable from which to build the tower of knowledge that my PhD was going to bring to the world.

Quite soon after that I woke up to the reality, the coffee smell was not at all unpleasant.

Christmas got in the way of my plan for a flying start to bottom out the answer, to set sail on my perfect journey – there I go again with ‘it’s got to be right’ from the start.  Actually, if truth be told, Christmas got in the way of getting to the bottom of what the question was – I say Christmas got in the way because its easier to have something to blame than think it might be me that’s still lost.

The Mindmap

My first proper supervision session is captured in the mindmap below – it’s a simple map which reflects a simple stepped approach based on options and possibilities.

PhD supervision

The mindmap underlines the value of supervision, the session outlined a number of options worthy of pursuit, while none being a definitive path that must be followed.

Ethnography

Since that session three avenues have been explored:

  1. Meet with staff who have been involved ‘isolation’ nursing
  2. Redirected my literature review to spread my search more widely – this resulted in 252 articles for review
  3. Methodology – attending an introductory session on ‘ethnography’ to learn about this approach and its applicability (or not) to my research.

I’m not suggesting that my PhD has made huge leaps forward, however each little steps is a step towards clarity, sometimes knowing what you don’t want to do helps you to focus on what you might want to do going forward.

Well I’ve got to believe that – don’t I?

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