Monday, 12 January 2009

That Cold, Sick Feeling

You know that feeling of terror when your insides freeze up, and you think you'd be sick if it wasn't for the fact that your stomach contents are suddenly made of ice?

That feeling that paralyzes you and freezes you to the spot, like a rabbit caught in car headlights, unable to move although you know you ought to.

The feeling a girl might get, for instance, if she suddenly found a passing reference to a paper that sounds like it might be describing the same kind of work she was planning on implementing for her PhD. That's the one.

I can't find the actual paper, of course. That would be too easy. I mean, I know it'll only take a couple of days of thinking and restructuring my thoughts to find a new angle once I know what this paper actually says. The reason I wanted to do this work was to unlock the interesting possibilities beyond it, after all - I know this could be a blessing in disguise if I can use the existing work to push myself further on. But at the moment, my university's online journal access doesn't seem to be working and I can't find a PDF on the internet - so I don't know what is actually in the paper. I've emailed the guy who got his PhD for this work, to see if I can get a copy of his thesis to read, but I'm not holding my breath.

Maybe a cup of coffee will thaw my guts and let me get on with some more work in the meantime... here's hoping, anyway, because I really have to finish the first chapter of my transfer report this week, even if I then have to change it totally in light of this new paper.


Kazzy said...

Oh my. That would be rough to have a great idea and see that someone else had the same one. Good luck!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Kazzy, I must confess, it feels slightly inevitable. Other people always have my good ideas before I get there - see my earlier post about (basically) the same thing but in a more trivial context :)

Pam said...

Oh no! I hope it all works out okay!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I have got a copy of the paper now - so at least I don't have to make an emergency trip across to the university where the thesis was published! which had been my backup plan for Friday. I feel a lot better now I can do something about it instead of just worrying.

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