A change to my century; a change to my life

This photo is a year or two old,
but shows how I stand in relation to Sherpa…

Firstly, blog news – after seeing some alternative centuries around the blogosphere, and chatting to my friend at work, I have decided to shift my century a bit.  I’ll now be doing the past 100 years – that is, 1914-2013.  I found the first years so difficult to fill last time, and I also missed the 21st century – this way I can keep myself more content, and still have a great overview of a century.  And, of course, 1914 is not an insignificant year.

Secondly, life news – I had my DPhil viva yesterday, and have passed with minor corrections!  I think I’m not technically a doctor until I’ve done those corrections, had them approved, and got a piece of paper from the English faculty in my hands – but to all intents and purposes I am now Dr. Thomas.  Gosh, how strange that sounds!  I think it might take me a lot longer to get used to it than everyone else.

64 thoughts on “A change to my century; a change to my life

  • January 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm
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    Huge congrats!!! And I'm very much looking forward to your century of books – especially the 21st century ones :)

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  • January 9, 2014 at 11:36 pm
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    Congrats to you, Doctor! Must say on that century change…hmmm…is it cheating to change the rules after the game has started? ;) I'm just giving you a hard time! (Especially, since those early years have been the toughest for me! My dds assure me I can fill in most of those years with Oz books by L. Frank Baum — not sure how many of those I'm anxious to read, though.)

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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      Thank you Susan! It is unashamedly cheating, but it's my game so I'm making up the rules ;) I have to say, stumbling upon this change has made me feel rather happier about the whole thing.

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  • January 10, 2014 at 12:21 am
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    Simon! Dr. Simon! What a relief.
    I was nearly as anxious for this news as I was for my son's law degree and my daughter's Master's degree. Can you hear the champagne cork from my house to yours?
    Congratulations. Your mum must be so happy.

    I also want to add that you're a marvelous blogger because you always find time to update. So many other bloggers become stale. Thank you for that.

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    • January 10, 2014 at 9:14 am
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      Both Simon's mum and Simon's dad are thrilled – but not surprised! Images of his early days, learning to read when he was 4 & 5 irresistably come to mind. It's been a long and fascinating journey – now where will the *reading* road take you, Simon?

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    • January 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm
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      Memo to Our Vicar and Our Vicar's Wife: Speaking as a proud mother myself, the two of you have every right to be proud of him!

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm
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      Thank you to all of you! I hope you enjoyed the champagne, Susan – I managed to leave a bottle in Somerset, so my cork-popping will be delayed.

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  • January 10, 2014 at 12:41 am
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    Congratulations, Doctor! (It does have a lovely ring to it.)

    I seriously considered changing my century to 1815-1914, so I could include Emma. But I'd rather read the 1930s than the 1830s.

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm
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      A very wise decision! As you see, I creep ever further away from the 19th century…

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm
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      Although it would have been fun if we'd managed to have consecutive centuries…

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  • January 10, 2014 at 2:06 am
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    That's fantastic! Congrats on doctoring!
    And doctoring your century too….well, as the originator and on your second lap, I think that's a fine idea. Starting at 1914 does make sense.

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm
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      I wonder if she will respond differently next time we meet? Perhaps there will be a glimmer of respect in her eye…

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  • January 10, 2014 at 2:52 am
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    Congrats again!
    Those early years are tough. I combed my library's catalog today to find potential reads and was not thrilled with the results other than Sister Carrie for 1900 – so I understand your shift.

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm
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      Thanks! I am glad not to have to go through the process of finding books from those years… although may I recommend Beatrix Potter for some of them…

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  • January 10, 2014 at 3:50 am
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    Since you already completed the Century of Books once and you invented it, I say you can do what ever you want now.

    Congratulations on your Doctorate!

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm
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      Thanks Ruthiella! I am definitely playing the my-game-my-rules card, aren't I? ;)

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  • January 10, 2014 at 4:03 am
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    Yes, we are all very comfortable with your new status. And thrilled for you. it is such an achievement , Simon. A

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  • January 10, 2014 at 4:35 am
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    Many congratulations! Looking forward to your future accomplishments; I suspect that this is just the beginning.

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  • January 10, 2014 at 6:23 am
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    Hearty congratulations on attaining your doctorate.

    Sue

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm
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      Thanks Karen! It is lovely that it's come to an end, at long last :)

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  • January 10, 2014 at 7:37 am
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    Well done on your viva! And, you know what, I was looking at all the excellent 21st century books I've got AND pondering the War, and this makes massive amounts of sense to me, so I think I'm going to join you. Hopefully knocking the 1913 one off the start will be balanced out by adding the newer ones on the end. I will NOT look yet, but I will look later …

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm
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      Thank you!
      I'm glad someone else is joining me in my somewhat eccentric century :)

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm
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      Thank you Annabel! And thank you for the encouragement :) I think it does make for a good century.

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  • January 10, 2014 at 8:40 am
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    Huge congratulations :-) I have just embarked on my PhD and can't imagine getting to the end yet. Or reading and writing about so many books along the way. You are an inspiration

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm
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      That's such a lovely thing to say, thank you Victoria! I'm not gonna lie, it's a long haul – but I determined (before I started) that I'd only do it if I could read recreationally at the same time, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it. I hope you manage to find time for it all too!

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  • January 10, 2014 at 10:07 am
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    Well done Dr. Thomas! That's some achievement! And enjoy your century – it is *your* century so you can read whatever dates you like – I'm sure that whatever you write about will be interesting!

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm
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      Thank you so much Karen! I'm pretty excited about my century now (although it's off to a slow start, with thesis re-reading etc.) – and it's quite nice to be doing something a bit different from last time around.

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  • January 10, 2014 at 11:16 am
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    Congratulations! Indeed you are not yet formally Dr Thomas, but I think we can all assume that you will complete those corrections in a few days and presumably the formal award will follow shortly afterwards. For me working for my PhD (though perhaps not writing up) was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life; I hope it has been (and will remain) the same for you.

    Best wishes, Peter

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm
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      Thank you very much Peter! I think you possibly found your PhD more rewarding as a whole than I did my DPhil – but I suppose I spent more time writing up than you did, since all four years were essentially writing up periods interspersed with more fun periods in the archives and libraries!

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    • January 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm
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      That's an interesting point you make! I spent about 10 weeks (7 days per week I hasten to add) writing my thesis. I spent quite a lot of time at the beginning and at the end in libraries, but of course a huge amount of time in laboratories and writing computer code (in FORTRAN IV if anyone else out there remembers that).

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  • January 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm
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    Well done, you. I am so impressed with how you achieve all your scholastic goals AND run a blog (or two) AND read a ton of books AND have a life. To say nothing fo the cat.

    I'd be inclined to go with the century ending with 2013. Otherwise, you'll be shut out of the current century, already slipping by so quickly.

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    • January 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm
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      Thank you Susan! I suspect I'd have finished quicker if I hadn't been determined to keep a life/study balance – but it was definitely worth being sane after 4 years than insane after 3!

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    • January 11, 2014 at 3:48 pm
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      What on earth is a life/study balance ?! I became addicted (and I think that is the right word) to my research during my PhD. Well done if you avoided becoming "dependent" (but perhaps you missed out on some "highs" too?)

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    • January 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm
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      I'm sure I did miss out on some of the highs! My DPhil was never my life, and I don't think I wanted it to be. Which is probably why I will not be a professional academic now!

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  • January 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm
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    Congratulations! Dr Thomas :) well deserved.
    That sounds like a good century to do I am considering doing this in 2015.

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  • January 10, 2014 at 8:55 pm
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    Congratulations, so happy for you, and good luck with the new challenge! Look forward to reading your blogs as ever.
    sally Tarbox

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  • January 11, 2014 at 12:49 am
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    Congratulations!

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  • January 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm
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    After confusing myself considerably by reading that sentence as "I am now … Dr Thomas Gosh", and thinking "I'm sure his name is Simon", I am now with the programme ~ many congratulations.

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  • January 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm
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    I guess I'm the last to arrive at the party, but congratulations. Excellent work!

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  • January 14, 2014 at 7:26 am
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    Congratulations! It must be really satisfying to have finished such a hefty chapter in your life – and to be (just about to be) Dr Thomas!

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  • January 14, 2014 at 8:57 am
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    Congratulations Dr Thomas! I hope you are enjoying the sense of achievement. You said you're not going to be a professional academic, but I do hope we will meet again at a conference in future.

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    • January 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm
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      I certainly hope so! I'm going to keep doing the fun bits of academia :)

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  • January 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm
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    Belated congratulations on your doctorate and I look forward to hearing all about the 'new' century with you!

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