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Monthly Archives: November 2015

2 Funerals, a Christmas Party and a sinus infection


Sorry folks, due to one thing or another we are unable to provide a blog post today.

Instead enjoy the novel concept of dance you PhD.

*insert cheerleader chant here* Re-enrol! Re-e-enrol!

Firstly, this post is going to be pretty short and reasonably dry… so bear with! The good news is, you’ll read it so fast that you can go back out and enjoy the sunshine faster than a toupee in a hurricane. Secondly, sorry… I feel like we are forever banging on about re-enrolment, but hey, it’s super important if you want to be able to check those romance novels out of the library for the long summer days you’ll be lounging in the gardens… or rather, those DVDs you’ll be watching from the comfort of your couch while waiting for that summer to actually arrive!

2016 re-enrolment

Anywho… the 2016 re-enrolment process looks a bit like this:

1. Log in to eVision…

2. Complete the initial re-enrolment questions, which will take you to the ‘paper selection’ part… [and no, I’m sorry, you can’t choose the paper yourselves!]

3. Email us at with your name, ID number, and the type of enrolment you want for 2016 (i.e. full year, or if you are due to submit in first semester (yay for you), semester one only!) and we’ll add your thesis paper code for you…

4. We’ll then say ‘thanks a bunch’ and let you know that you can go ahead complete the declaration in eVision anytime after 1 January 2016.

If you want to change from full time to part time, or vice versa, you’ll need to fill out a form, which can be found here:

It would be awesome if you could make sure you re-enrol ASAP so that you won’t lose access to resources come next year – thanks heaps!!

Have a fantastic weekend 🙂



Gregory Scott, Rest in Peace

This week I attended the funeral of my colleague Gregory Scott.

There was lots of shared laughter about some of Gregory’s strange, strange ways. There was lots of giggling about his love of really terrible dad-jokes.  There was lots of nodding about Gregory’s kindness and helpfulness.  There was lots of affirmation about Gregory’s integrity and the importance of his faith to him.  There was a table of dodgy ties and we were allowed to take one to remember Gregory by.

It was a really good send off.

But it was way too soon to say goodbye.

Gregory ScottGregory worked for the Research Division at Otago for 15 years.  He worked mainly in the Graduate Research area and he was pivotal in developing smooth administration through his database Achievers.

Otago was the envy of other New Zealand universities.  We knew how many PhD candidates we had at any one time, who was deferred, who was under exam, who had changed supervisor 17 times (me!).  It may seem obvious that we should know this stuff, but obvious and the real world don’t always go hand-in-hand.  Gregory made what should happen actually happen.

Gregory was happy to poke fun at himself.  He reveled in corny jokes and the day he showed up for our Christmas-do dressed up as a nerd (or more of a nerd, as he would have it) summed up his spirit of fun.


Gregory and I would have long conversations about new technology, big data, disastrous IT projects as well as excellent ones. He would tolerate my deviations into discussions about diplomacy and different communication styles when all he really wanted to talk about was systems solutions.

Gregory died after a four year battle with bowel cancer.  He fought hard against this ghastly disease and he never seemed to waiver in his optimism about his prognosis.

The day Gregory told me his cancer had returned I got upset. He gave me a hug to comfort me. You could see it pained him to have to do it but he manned-up and did it anyway.

In all the time he was sick I never heard him complain about his health.  One hears this being said of people and one tends to think it’s an exaggeration.  With Gregory it was utterly true. He stoically put up with invasive nasty treatments, with the side-effects of chemo, with the tiredness, and the discomfort.

Gregory was dedicated to his work, dedicated to his family, dedicated to helping people and dedicated to God.

Gregory, you will be missed.

Claire Gallop, Graduate Research School 

Only 8 weeks to Christmas!

Santa BrianChristmas is a few weeks away.  Brian’s post highlights the stresses associated with Christmas and gives advice on how you can get everything done stress free!

Preparations for the holiday season seem to come around earlier and earlier each year. Some merchandisers start their advertising campaign as early as September, for goodness sake!

For many of us in the lead up to Christmas we become distracted by the frenetic demands of shopping for gifts for family and friends. The holiday season can be a stressful time and the pressures to ‘buy, buy, buy’, can take its’ toll on our finances and energies. We convince ourselves it’s time to ease off focusing on our studies or work commitments. Our priorities shift and some of us may ‘take a wee holiday’ from progressing thesis writing.But wait! We can achieve a lot in eight weeks and shop!

Weekly Planner2

I encourage students and staff I work with, to create a healthy balance between ‘business and pleasure’. If you haven’t already used a weekly planner to structure your week, do it today! Include thesis writing, exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits and doing some things you enjoy.

Or perhaps, like me, you could adopt a “Scrooge” approach and let Christmas consumerism pass you by. Or choose to focus on being grateful for what we’ve got, appreciate our family and friends and donate to our favourite charity – to those who really need.


Whatever you choose to do over the coming weeks, remember at any given moment you have the opportunity to choose to focus on what’s most important to you.


Brian Johnston, Graduate Research