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Blog Archive: March 2022

Other Stuff
Doing a PhD for the past five or so years (which I have passed by the way, did I mention?) means that I haven't had a huge amount of time to do ROCK. This hasn't been quite as much of a problem as it might have been for GIGS due to the twin facts that a) there haven't been many gigs for anyone for the past two years and b) it's not like people have been ASKING us to do them!

Similarly, RECORDING with The Vlads has been off the table - hard as it might be to believe from the available evidence, but we do usually (not always!) like to at least TRY to practice songs before recording them, and that's not really been an option. Then when we HAVE been able to get together it's been for a GIG, a practice for a gig (we like to do these at LEAST every four years whether we need to or not), or BEST OF ALL just for a curry.

I've still be WRITING songs mind you, and thus a bit of a BACKLOG has built up. The trouble with THIS is that some of the songs are about Pertinent Modern Issues which may not BE Pertinent or Modern by the time we eventually get round to doing them. Recording an album generally takes at LEAST three years for us, unless we really knuckle down and try to do it quicker in which case it takes FOUR.

SO, when I finished the PhD (I did mention that didn't I?) I thought "Hang on, why don't I just do a SOLO album then?" After all, I have the EQUIPMENT to do so, and I have learnt a LOT about MIDI through being in Jane and John, so I could apply that to some of my solo songs too. It would also, I thought, be FUN to do something where I was in full control myself, after all these years of doing the PhD where I was constantly either writing something agreed with other people, waiting for their approval or filling in FORMS to let me move to the next stage.

THUS I consulted with The Validators who bravely gave their ASSENT to the plan, and since then I've been pottering about programming drums, struggling with How Notes Work On A Pretend Piano, and generally messing around with an album which, I think, is going to be called "Back In The Office", for LO! its subject matter is very work-based. I think MAYBE it'll be out in the summer, but I shall provide more information about it ANON!

posted 30/3/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Post-Doctoral Work
Hello again! It's been a LONG time since I last did one of these here blogs, and part of the reason for that is that I have been spending loads of time getting to the end of my PhD. I actually handed it in WAY back in October, but since then it has been a lengthy process of STEPS, REVISIONS and ADMIN.

Once it was handed in I had to wait until mid-December before I could do my actual VIVA - this is basically an interview where two or (in my case) three academics QUIZ you about what you've written. I was looking forward to it being them saying "So Mark, tell us at great length how very clever this all is" but it was NOT like that. It was more "Tell us, one by one, why your thesis is NOT about the following list of things instead". It was, to use the proper parlance "combative" but we got through it and at the end I was given a pass but with Amendments.

This meant that after Christmas I got a REPORT which told me what the required amendments were. Some of these were FINE and HELPFUL, some of them were more "Why is it not about this OTHER thing instead?" so I then spent about a month doing all THAT, then had a bit of back and forth with my Supervisors, and then finally handed it in properly about a fortnight ago.

After all THAT however things moved at high speed. A week later, last thing on the Friday, I got an unoffical email to let me know that my internal examiner had PASSED it. There was MUCH relief and subsequent HALLOOING, and then on Monday I got an OFFICIAL email saying the same.

This, however, was not the end of it, as you're not allowed to swan around calling yourself "Doctor" until you've had an Official Letter from The Vice Chancellor. Funnily enough, on Tuesday I went to an EVENT with the aforesaid VC which he left fairly early on. "He's off to sign my letter" I QUIPPED, and lo and behold that is exactly what he WAS doing (probably) as the next morning the letter (in PDF form) arrived and THAT was very much THAT. I am now officially DOCTOR HIBBETT, DOCTOR OF DOCTOR DOOM!

It has been a LONG old process - it makes the above description seem SHORT - but I am IMMENSELY relieved it is over, not least because it means I can get back to OTHER stuff - other stuff which I shall tell you ALL about NEXT time!!

posted 28/3/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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