Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Spin

So it’s been a few weeks since my last post – kinda keep meaning to get around to blogging and then having life (funerals, house renovations, mouse hunting etc) getting in the way. So here’s a speed through some of things I’ve been up to.

  • Thesis Theory Chapter
    • Still writing it.  Beginning to think I might be done with it this week with a good tail wind.  Of course this is the moment my supervisor is “super busy” of course so this’ll doubtless mean some delays once I submit it for review.  It is a lot better than previously and I can now talk about Foucault, Marx, Gramsci and the autonomists with a lot more ease.   So my education is benefiting.
  • QAA Review
    • Was approached (volunteered) to be a student mouth-piece for NTU’s QAA Higher Education Review panel for post-graduate researchers.  An interesting experience all round, and despite Mrs Llama’s skepticism over it as a good use of my time I’ve enjoyed being able to get my oar in.  As with all these sort of things at NTU it seemed some elements were happening a bit under a just in time approach to management – in that the first I heard about being involved was the Wednesday prior to the Tuesday evaluation via email.  That I’d been volunteered by my supervisor(s) or the university was interesting, I suspect it’s my role as former student rep that saw my name popping out of the hat a likely willing voice…but I never did find out just who it was whom put me forward.  Ah well, I can’t do research about activism and higher education without showing a willingness to be involved in shaping the sector when the opportunity arises now can I?  Interesting experience, although the one thing I took away is that the provision of support, facilities and resources for PGRs at NTU varies massively- I think AAH folks on on the poorer side of the dividing line too.  However, I seemed to be doing more academic work in terms of teaching and assessment than most, so there you go.  At least I got a chance to voice how awful the research training module had been…
  • Teaching
    • As of last week I’ve taken on two more classes for my digital/human communications module seminars – both of which seem fuller of students than my regular one.  Just keeping the one class for the media communications sessions though.  Nice to run the seminars more than once, as what doesn’t work with some groups of students works really well with others.  of course this does mean I’ve just taken on more marking commitments…sigh…wish the uni paid me for that time!  Speaking of which spent two days marking the student’s profile essays, which were a good read on the whole – they’d all pretty much grasped the ideas behind the assessment which was great.  Wonder how they’ll do in the oral presentation they’ve got coming up next?
  • Book chapter
    • Working on a propopals for a book chapter with my supervisory around issues of IPR and (c) in a post-physical/digital age.  Not sure we’ll get it accepted by the editors but worth a try.  Could always reuse it elsewhere.
  • Conference proposals
    • In the middle of writing two of these for conferences this summer.  Not 100% sure either will get in, but it’s worth a try I think.  One’s about general communications effectiveness and the other’s more about my research; which is the harder one to write – as in just picking one area to write about it a challenge!
  • Leicester Media Seminar
    • Went over to the University of Leicester to attend one of their research seminars about authentic ethnography and the Occupy Wall Street protests.  Very interesting session, although the Q&A did rather drag on.  Why do some people insist in asking questions that are in effect 5 minute statements about “How brilliant my research is”?  Doesn’t make for a lively back and forth frankly.  But worth my time, and hopefully I might see if any of their future sessions are worth attending.
  • Careers and employment
    • Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this a bit and trying to set a timetable of when I need to start really job hunting.  Pretty sure I can’t rely on something falling into my lap, but also pretty sure that I need to make sure I only take on something that allows me enough time to finish writing the thesis.  Balancing the need for income with the need to work, fun fun fun.  However, will continue my whispering campaign to get NTU to keep paying me to lecture at least!  Mrs Llama sent me the following “helpful” cartoon.  Thanks dear…
Post Doc Descent cartoon
Post Doc Descent

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