Week 100: Conversation analysis and pistachio cake

My PhD diary has reached Week 100!

I cannot believe that it’s been two years – the time has gone by so quickly. I’ve written my activities of research, teaching and baking every weekend, and I’m now starting the third year of my PhD. As a mini celebration for Week 100, I baked a Teff Flour Pistachio Cake.

It’s a great pleasure for me to do doctoral research, teach Japanese lessons and write posts to share. I’ve also enjoyed reading many other blogs that have inspired me.


Conversation analysis

It’s really tricky – when facing my audio data, I just feel overwhelmed. I had exactly the same feeling that Dr Service said in her paper:

“Where do I start? Were these useful data? Is there anything significant here? As I read through, they appeared to be mundane and I wondered if I could be able to answer the research question or if the interviews and the observations had been a waste of my time”… (B. Service, Keeping the Faith).

I froze: where do I start? Reading through my notes from the last meeting with my supervisors, I decided to mark up transcripts of five cases with Conversation Analysis (CA). My supervisors sent me some useful guides and papers on CA. It took half a day to learn the CA symbols, and I’ve been learning how to apply them. It takes time, but I’m enjoying it and it’s nice to see the data from a different angle!


Applied to a teaching position

Last week, I completed a two-year online course for teaching Japanese and said that “I am not sure if I will teach again next year”. But, after that, I actually applied to a teaching position.

When I received the certificate, a letter was enclosed, which was a reference letter from the course director of the programme in case I applied for a teaching role in the future. This was a big surprise for me that encouraged me to try it.

A few days ago, I got an invitation to an interview next week. I am now preparing my lesson plans and a taster lesson for the interview. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity and will try my best.


Teff Flour Pistachio Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love Amanda’s teff flour pistachio cake recipe. Last month, I baked this pistachio cake without the cream cheese frosting and the cake itself was very moist and had a beautiful flavour. So, I recommend both versions, with and without frosting. For the cake, I added a tablespoon of almond flour and an extra amount of vanilla extract.

Initially, I tried to make a pomegranate cream cheese frosting, by using light-fat cream cheese, but it turned out to be too loose to frost the cake. I had to make it again, but, that time, using a full-fat one. Eventually, the second try was a success!



My achievements in week 100

  • started marking up transcripts with CA and analysing data
  • preparing some lesson plans and a taster lesson

Goals for week 101

  • finish revising Chapter 2
  • finish writing my analysis of one case
  • make a transcript of one case