Big news!

On Wednesday night Feb 10th, I learned that a research proposal I had submitted to the San Jose State University iSchool had been considered to be of high enough value that I have been invited to apply for the PhD program.  I’m scared, excited, thrilled, humbled and happy all at the same time.

San Jose State University collaborates with the Queensland University of Technology (yes, Australia), to jointly run an international PhD program for librarians.  It’s referred to as a Gateway PhD and short of one week residency each year, the entire process is done online.

This summer, starting in August, I will be in San Jose to meet my committee and generally settle in to completing my work.  The first year is fairly intense, because even at this point, I am not yet a PhD ‘candidate.’  I have been told to anticipate 30 hours of work per week to finish within 6 years.  I will be refining my research proposal, likely taking courses to familiarize myself with statistical sampling and survey methodology, and yes, even writing exams.

When I return home to Calgary in the summer of 2017 I will have finished my first year of the program and know if I will be proceeding with my research or not.  So many things ride on the proposal – is someone else in the world doing the same work (i.e. are my thoughts not unique), is there sufficient support from my committee to continue, and will I find a job when I’m back home to support me financially?

Here’s a link to the research proposal, in case you are so academically inclined!

Research Proposal




Just another evening in Doha

Every once in a while, something happens in Doha that reminds you that you are truly in a unique part of the world. After being here for 18months, life seems to have settled down and you just get used to the fact that Doha=difficult. But Wednesday was different. Four of us walked from our apartment down to the Souq. There were two newbies at the college and they were out to see the sights. I needed to go to the Gold Souq and my colleagues were up for a walk. Its about 45 minutes from our place to the Souq. The walk is impossible in the summer and likely, sometime about 5-6 weeks from now it will be too hot to manage the walk. As we approached Souq Waqif (the main Souq), the newbies and my colleague Aileen split off to go to the Falcon Souq, and I went over to the ‘Old’ Gold Souq to get a bit of fixing done to a ring. The guys at Kingdom Jewellers were great and did the work for free.

I then met my colleagues for supper in the Souq at a Syrian restaurant we like – Damascus. Sounds straight forward. Well – the Souq was just teeming with people. Doha lives for the nights and the cool breezes. These people are night owls and the city just comes to life at night. Walking through the alley ways crowded with people becomes a negotiation in status. As a female Caucasian, I have lower status then the citizens and men in general. But I have higher status than those whose skin is darker than mine. So, walking the crowded alleys and passages of the Souq means minding your local manners and ‘giving way’ to those in Abayas and Thobes (no matter how slow they’re going). As I get out into a more open area, there’s a brass band/parade going by with four guys in the most outrageously coloured outfits and tall hats made of battery powered, sequinned sparkling lights! And the brass band was playing nothing sounding like marching music to me.   Just beyond is a tent set up with a TV show going on inside and cameras on huge overhead booms everywhere. The place was just buzzing.

I got over to my friends, who were just sitting down outside the restaurant. After we order, one of the newbies at the take looks up into the restaurant and there’s a whirling Dervish inside dancing! I just had to be a tourist and go inside to take a couple quick movies. Honestly – they guy had been dancing/spinning around like that for at least 10 minutes before I got those shots. Hope you enjoy them.  The file sizes are big, so I popped them into Google Photos

When we finished our mean, we walked out and were getting ready to hail a cab. One pulls up, we all pile in – three women in the back, one guy in front with the driver. YThe driver was driving so fast, we were all holding on so tight that we were thinking it was our last drive. Worst yet – he was on the phone with is buddy yapping away the whole time. It got so scary, we had to yell at him to pull over and we walked the last 15 minute home. At least it was cheap!


Just another day in Doha.