Sorry, this post has been a little slow in the writing - I'll attribute it to some kind of post-confirmation-brain-slush.
For those that I neglected to properly explain this process to the first time, confirmation is rather like going from being an L-Plate researcher to being a P-plater. It involves writing a 12,000 word paper on work to date (and with a field trip under my belt I had a lot to write), as well as a presentation in front of the department, and a meeting with my supervisory panel.
Given that the document was longer than my honours thesis, and written in less than two months, it was always going to be very much a work in progress. It's a good point at which to sit down, and really force some of those ideas that have been kicking around to become a little less vague.
As an overall process it's been good. I certainly feel a bit more focused that I was before-hand. It's been a bit of a strange process though. Normally you hand in a paper, or an honours thesis and it's done and finished. But with confirmation there is an immediate barrage of feedback. Not that that's a bad thing - there's still another 2 years work of work to do. But it means that any complement paid is balanced with a wealth of ways to start looking forward. The report and presentation have not only made clear all those vague thoughts I've had for the last year or so, but it's also illuminated the mind-numbing amount of work that needs to be done before my thesis begins to sound even half convincing.