I thought the valley of shit was over last year as I finally managed to write my thesis. Little I knew that there was still a lot to come. I guess I will understand more about the whole process in a few years’ time, but now I feel that these last 6 months (between the first whole draft and the submitted copy) have been like dying in slow motion. So instead of feeling excited, and happy, I just feel exhausted and relieved that it is over for a couple of months or so…
Anyway, it is time to acknowledge all the people who have contributed to my thinking and the writing of the thesis. The following corresponds to the acknowledgement page from my thesis.
As some have observed, the PhD experience is a collective endeavour (Hopwood, 2010), and as such, my thesis is the outcome of my hard work shaped by the interactions and negotiations with many significant others. First, I would like to thank my supervisors, Dr Linda Hort, Dr Margaret Kiley, and my advisor, Dr Elke Stracke for their constant support, encouragement and feedback. I especially want to express my gratitude to Dr Kiley who accepted my research proposal enabling me to become the first international student in the centre. Without her commitment I would not have been able to write this thesis.
Secondly, I would like to thank the Australian National University embodied in its staff and students. CHELT staff and PhD candidates made my stay as a PhD candidate a delight. I am grateful to all the people who made the amazing morning teas possible. Their sweetness has made the sometimes bitter work go smoothly. I am also indebted to the other PhD candidates of the centre. I spent a great number of my Friday afternoons engaged in educational discussions with a glass of Australian wine (not as good as Chilean) but good enough to keep spirits up. My research also benefited greatly from our reading group and especially from my writing buddies. I am especially indebted to my office mate, Kevin Brett, who did his best to make me appreciate the best of Australian culture and who proofread my manuscripts several times. I am also grateful to the Spanish program of the Language Studies School, especially to Dr Martha Florez and Dr Daniel Martin, who deposited their trust and employed me as a language educator.
Thirdly, I want to express my gratitude to the Chilean teacher education program where I undertook my study. I am grateful to the mentor teachers, tutors, educators, and especially to pre-service teachers, the protagonists of my study. Their collaboration and participation made this research project possible. I hope that this thesis could serve as a stepping stone to improve the learning experience in the program and eventually SLTE in Chile.
I would also like to thank Katie Poidomani for proofreading my thesis. She became my second set of eyes. Her work contributed to make the thesis look nicer. Thanks Katie!
Last, but not least, I am enormously grateful to my friends and family in Australia and in Chile. Despite the geographical distance, my family has been a constant support to keep on going and not despair. I am indebted to my friends in Chile and in other geographical latitudes who kept in contact despite the time difference and made me still feel part of their clan. My experience in Australia could have not been this special without my mates. My special thanks to my friend, Vero, who became my Chilean connection in Australia, and with whom I spent so many hours trying to understand the Aussie way of seeing the world. I am also thankful to Dr Eugenia Demuro for the mates and constant inquiry about our Latin American identity. Thanks to Gregor, Tina and Paddy who adopted me as part of the Blackbutt family. I am also grateful to the people from the ANU mountaineering club who, through bushwalks, kept me sane and healthy these years. I especially need to acknowledge Mika Kontiainen and Michael Thwaites.
Finally, I would like to thank my husband, Stephen Darwin, for his endless and unconditional love. No doubt my research has benefited from Stephen’s inquisitive mind, caring spirit, and social commitment. Without Stephen, I would never have found the inspiration nor the energy to keep on going during this long journey.