A doctoral degree

So, I actually made it. I got my doctoral degree this friday. It’s amazing.

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Feeling grateful today

I feel I have to write a short post just to express my gratitude towards all my friends and collegues who gratulated me yesterday on my forthcoming thesis and, what is the most important part, help by sharing my thesis online. This is of course an amazing opportunity. Sharing my thesis online means that it reaches a lot more people than I could have imagined. And when you see that people also tag it for special persons, like social workers they know, friends and politicians…that is just wonderful.

And all the nice words my friends and collegues write about me online…I’m truly, truly grateful today.

The digital me

Last week some of my colleagues from Ersta Sköndal University College and I, had a pre-meeting about the ONL162-course. One of the topics we discussed – though very briefly – was if we considered ourselves to be digital or not.

I think I am quite digital. The computer is my number one work tool and I would probably not survive without the internet. I’m the kind of person who checks her e-mail many, many times each day. I spend ridiculously much time on Facebook and had to stop twittering since it consumed too much time. I’ve decided to stay out of Instagram for that same reason.

I use Facebook as a way to stay in contact with friends and relatives and as a tool in my work. When I need some sort of assistance or advice, I normally go to Facebook and simply post a question. Facebook is also an important area for the politically me, an area for sharing information, thoughts and activism.

So far, I’ve never used Facebook in my teaching though. And to be honest, I’m not so sure that I would, unless I create a separate user-id for it. All the personal information I’m sharing on Facebook is of course not private, but I don’t share it with anyone (using the security settings). Is this old-fashioned? Separating the personal me from the teacher me, I mean? Does this perhaps make me an analog teacher?

My normal teaching is, I guess, rather traditional. I teach IRL, mostly lectures and seminars. I’ve tried Prezi, but prefer Power Point. I use a student platform called It´s Learning. I think it’s a good tool. It makes it possible to share information with the students and they can upload different assignments. But to be honest, there is little interaction. It’s mostly about me giving information and instructions. This is hopefully something I can improve.

So, this was my first attempt to write a reflection – an important part of the ONL-course. I normally don’t write in English and I notice that it slows me down. It’s quite difficult to think, reflect and produce a text that is readable. I guess this will be one of my challenges during the course.

Nailed it.

Yesterday was a day all about old and somewhat boring academic traditions. The Swedish tradition – and I guess it´s similar in other countries – of getting a doctoral degree includes not only a lot of courses and writing a thesis. You also have to defend the thesis in public. There will be an opponent and also a degree-board who judge your work. In my case all this will happen on October 14th.

But before you get to do this you have to “spika” your thesis. Not later than three weeks before the defense. There is probably a good academic word for “spika” in english that I don’t know. But if you translate the actual word it means to nail something. To the wall. Traditionelly this makes the thesis public so that anyone can read it before the defense. At Linköping University you also have to have a meeting with the faculty dean before you can “spika” your thesis. An hour long meeting. He hasn’t read a single word you’ve written, but after this hour long talk he gives you the formal approval to “spika” the thesis. I have a lot of problems with a lot of things in academia, and this is one of them. To be honest, it’s a complete waste of time. Not at least when you realize that the department of communication normally makes all theses available online weeks before this formal “Spikning”.

But, enough of complaining. Here is a link to the thesis.