Monday, 1 December 2014

H is for HERRING (RED)

The eighth in an alphabetical series of blog posts: A-Z: An alphabetical journey through the doctoral experience. 

If analysis is the opportunity to sink into a sea of warm data, then drafting involves a treacherous journey in the depths.  Indeed, this blog comes to you from the treacly depths of thesis chapter drafting. It's inspired by a recent trip to what was once the second most important herring fishing ports in England (look it up if this has piqued your interest!  Or are you procrastinating...?!). It's a a tiny place, a dent in the cliffs, once cross-hatched with cobles, the distinctive north eastern fishing craft.

Herrings score highly in the omega-3 fatty acids stakes, they're a sociable species and commercially valuable.  But what of the proverbial red herring? Mercurial, darting down into the intellectual depths it tempts you with jewelled scarlet scales and its omega-3 overload.  How can you not follow it? And you do, rejoicing, until familiar boundaries drop away and suddenly you're disorientated, directionless on the sea bed.  Just as suddenly, the red herring is no more than a flash of scarlet ahead of you, disspating in the murky waters.  Then it's gone altogether, leaving you thinking - how the heck did I get here?!  Why have I spent the last fortnight thinking this was a productive use of my precious time?!  What has this got to do with my theoretical framework?!

Nothing for it but to somersault and turn back, seek something familiar, start (almost) over again...  

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