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Post Info TOPIC: Fieldwork blues..


Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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Fieldwork blues..


So, I'm doing ethnographic fieldwork for my thesis, having just started my third week. Most of the time it is great fun, although I notice that constantly having to be aware of my surroundings and meeting and interacting with a whole lot of people is making me tired. And the organizing of data and writing a comprehensible diary is dreary work. But I've made sure to take little breaks, going for a solitary walk (in gorgeous surroundings btw), snuggling up in the cosy room I've rented here and watching a film, etc. So I have been ok. A little tendency to emotional roller coaster, swinging between being intensely happy and being worried and scared (I fear that I'm not really good at this kind of stuff, do I collect enough data, the right data and so on and so forth), but it's been acceptable.

Also, this kind of fieldwork should be really a walk in the park. I'm in absolutely lovely place, the people I study are resourceful people doing something they enjoy, plus everyone is very friendly towards me (I think a few might actually turn out to become friends). All in all I'm having an absolutely splendid time, so really, there shouldn't be a problem.

But today, after having had a great morning doing research and my usual lunch/emptying memorycards/writng up the morning's notes I felt a little bit tired but ready to go. Then, as I was back in the field and orientating myself it started to pour down and I forgot my umbrella. I got wet and cold and then I stepped on a wasp (I go barefoot) and got stung. 

And suddenly, it just felt like too much. Like, I really couldn't go on. It was very strange, these small physical discomforts just felt HUGE, and I ended up cancelling my afternoons work and limping back to my room (which feels like a safe den). Where I've been surfing the internet, and planning on getting a hot shower and some nice salty junkfood.

I'm sure that tomorrow I will be fit for fight again, so it's not really a big problem I guess. But what I wonder is if someone have experienced something similar? And what do you do about it? Any strategy to avoid it?



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Mookish Deity Most High

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It just sounds like you've been pushing yourself too hard and just needed some time to completely switch off your brain from work. Even though you're doing work you enjoy,you're still working-and being drowned and stung is a good reason to take the day off that your brain really needs without feeling guilty about it.

Dave.

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Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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You are a brilliant badger! I guess your comfort zone is very flexible in its boundaries but is constantly being tested by new environment, new activities, new interactions on a daily basis. It may be like an athlete who trains every day, but still has to stop for daily periods because they can't train 24/7. If I'm in a situation where my comfort zone is being exercised every day, I need to stop and do something familiar to let it relax. Maybe that's what happened - so much exercising and something inside you said 'stop, it's time to relax now, and if you don't do it I'm going to make you feel overwhelmed so you have to do it'?

My strategy might be to tell myself that every day I will balance out the 'being awake' with something familiar that I do on autopilot, like reading a favourite book that isn't in any way literature, or surfing the internet, or snack food, or phoning an old friend to say nothing at all. Perhaps you could plan to do something like that every day, to create a nice little cave to go into as a treat for being so awesome on a daily basis?

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I like Magda's idea of trying to pop back into your comfort zone for a little bit each day, that way even if everything becomes a bit overwhelming you know that you've got a moment to collect yourself. You're awesome and I think I'd be tempted to just say "I'm out" if I had an afternoon like that. Hope you're feeling better. xx

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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Thank you my lovelies!
Yep, it was definitively my body giving me a hint to slow down. Yesterday morning I felt ill -slightly feverish, sore throat and aching joints, decided to just stay in bed and proceeded to sleep until evening. Which I spent eating soup, watching a couple of true blood episodes and falling asleep again. An when I woke up today I was right as rain.

Last day tomorrow and then home. I feel ambivalent about this, it's going to be sad leaving this gorgeous place and all the wonderful people I've met here but on the other hand I look forward to having a good long bath in my own bathtub and not speak to anyone but Mumilar and Ouroboros for a couple of days.

If I ever do something like this again, I'm definitively going to work less and relax more.

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"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris

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