summer break

Unfortunately, I was forced to do a Summer break in the Algarve, due to health reasons involving my father. All appears to be getting back on tracks, but it has been some anxious days these ones.

Although a side of my family is originally from the Algarve, I don’t come here that often.

These days I don’t feel like working for my thesis at the end of the day, not after spending most of it at the hospital, so I usually stroll in places I used to play at during my childhood.

coursework: check!

Stop the press! I’ve just received my last grade and coursework is DO-NE!!!

It has been a long and demanding path, lasting from September 2010 until late last month, constantly travelling, commuting, studying – and working at my regular job. At the same time, I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot in all five courses I was enrolled: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations, Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions.

Now it’s time to take a big breath and focusing on the thesis proposal I need to prepare and present for the Thesis Project curricular unit, due later this year. It’s the only thing left to finish my first year at the program and to enter in the long and big immersion of research  and… thesing.

morning walk

While doing coursework, my life spanned the area between Sines, Cascais, and Lisbon, which I had to cover several times a week. For the morning classes, I’d usually travel the day before from Sines to Cascais, then take a morning train from Cascais to Lisbon, hop on the metro at Cais do Sodré and do a morning walk between the stop at Alameda and IST.

This image bring me back – bring us, I’m expecting to be read – to one of those busy, but enjoyable days. It was October 19, 2010, at 08h41, and I was doing my final leg in direction to IST. Here is the sunny version of IST’s South Tower.

benelux

I haven’t mentioned how things went in my Benelux trip. Here it goes: business-wise, it went all according to planned, which helps but not necessarily means reaching the ultimate objective (probably more to follow about that). Leisure-wise, it couldn’t be better, with a wonderful mix of short encounters, sightseeing, relaxed moments and good conversation with friends I havent’t seen for a while.

Now let’s see when I will see them again…

over & out (of the country)

The end of a very long day. I had today my last exam, Transport Policy and Institutions they call it, and I’m now free from coursework, so grades allow it. Cross your fingers, will you?

I departed directly from IST to the Lisbon Airport, for an extended weekend in Brussels and Rotterdam ‘per lavoro e per piacere’. Brussels for business, Rotterdam for memories and to see some friends.

Please wish me luck – and a sound health and physical condition (it’s for the business part of the trip).

1st post (after the previous one)

OK, now that we know each other, let’s go for a quick recap of the story so far. I started my PhD program in September 2010. It comprises coursework during the first year, including the curricular unit Thesis Project, plus two years of research, at the end of which I am supposed to submit and defend my thesis. Of course it would be handy if I managed to start research while doing coursework, but given the usual lack of time for doing that plus the fact I’m studying part-time and squeezing my time between academic activities and job responsabilities, I’m finding that just a little bit difficult…

I had to enroll in five courses I chose with the help of my designated tutor: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, and Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations in the Fall semester; and Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions in the Spring semester. At some point during the year, I’ll have to find an academic that, based on a draft thesis proposal (I’ve already finished), will be designated as my official supervisor.

The moment I’m writing, I’m done with most of my coursework (reason why I found the time – and thought it would make sense – to start the blog) and I have only one exam left.

I think this is it. And now it’s time to go back studying. But not without wishing a Happy Easter for those who celebrate it.