(“Fantasia”, by Raelene Kwong: detail)

(“Starry Splendour”, by Kim Bradley)

(“Four Inch Splendour”, by Brigitte Giblin)

I didn’t expect to make the Convention this time around, as I had planned to spend Friday looking into leads from a careers counsellor appointment.  Since it was a total wash, I got to play with fabric instead!

So, why was I going to see a counsellor?  It’s not that I’m thinking of changing my path — I love what I do too much to give it away.   I went because I was hoping to gather a few different ideas on how I could use my PhD.

Cue me and counsellor, in counsellor’s office.

Counsellor is rushed and reminds me that we only have half an hour, five minutes of which she’s already wasted getting her last client to fill in a feedback form.

Me:  “Ok, so to keep it short, I’d like to finish my PhD but I’d also like to know what I can do with it.  For instance, what other Literature PhD graduates have gone on to do.”

Counsellor: “Well, there are many ways of getting around the stigma attached to a PhD.  When you’re writing your CV, for example, you can highlight the work you’ve done outside your doctorate.  I’m happy to see that you have a great work history.”

Me: “Yes, I know, but I’m not really interested in talking about what I can’t do with a PhD.  I was hoping to come up with some ideas on how to use the work history and my PhD together…”

Counsellor: “And of course if you’re thinking of going part time you can get even more relevant experience.  So you can get around that stigma even more easily.”

Me: (breathes) … (explains a third time, with smaller words.)

Counsellor: “Yes.  With sales experience of course you can sell yourself at interview.  Really you could make it look almost as if you didn’t do the PhD.”

Me:  “Oh, will you look at that.  Time’s up.  Pity.”

She does not try to get me to fill in a feedback form.

I was going to try and get her to help me with my CV, since they’re clearly what she lives and breathes, but for that you have to pay extra.  So I went to blow off some thinking-steam at the Quilt Convention.

And I went shopping!  Yes, I am a cliche, it seems.  Retail therapy helped me think.

I’m not usually one for buying other people’s designs, and this is a very work intensive one, but I fell in love and there was nothing for it.   Much like a discipline, or a writing project, sometimes patterns choose you!   This is by Margaret Rolfe and is called ‘Peace Quilt’.

Each block is one perfect little ‘origami’ crane, made in a Japanese fabric.

Below are my first very rough test cranes.  I don’t think I can use them in the final quilt (if indeed I make the whole thing) as I accidentally cut the seam allowance on the small side.  But they’ll make a lovely addition to a scrap quilt in the future.

Now, off to think about careers and quilts.  Happy sewing, and happy writing, everybody.  Here’s my thought for now, NOT care of Dipstick McDork the careers advisor.  Do what you love, forget about how long it takes and who’s watching, and somehow it’ll come out in the wash.  At least that’s my plan, for now.

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