Reading, Writing and Plotting

A second week free of teaching, and it’s a rather refreshing change to have the time back to really dig into my studies.  Normally by Wednesday I’m panicking that the week is over almost bar the teaching, but now it’s a mid point with plenty of time to work on other areas.

Reading

Finally sat down and spent two days poring over Martin Eve’s recent book Open Access and the Humanities.  As I expected it was a cracking read, and it only took me so long to read as I kept stopping to write notes and thoughts to myself about it.  Have already gone back and re-read a couple of bits as well for other bits and bobs I was writing.  Hopefully next week, I can get through a few more papers and another book.  I can see I might be taking at least one academic text over to Vienna with me.

Writing

I planned to write my presentation for Vienna.  I failed.  Which means first thing (well almost first thing) next week I need to do that.  Then again, reading Martin’s book has fired off one or two ideas that I need to slightly rework in the presentation.

Plotting

Two whole days spent plotting sounds fun, but what I was actually doing was planning out my last round of interviews, and writing an thesis chapter abstract about copyright and publication.  There are moments I feel I know a lot about copyright, and moments when I feel I know nothing – and I’ve been through both of these modes in writing this document.  In particular I’ve been trying to identify publishers, academics and activists in the world of open access that I should interview.  Sounds easy, but when I’ve got to keep the number of interviews down to a manageable level suddenly it gets a whole lot more intensive.  I was hoping to send this document off to my supervisors for comment by the end of the week; but annoyingly I’m about 30 minutes of clear-headed thinking time away from having the chapter abstract clear enough.

Teaching

Yes, I know, I’ve stopped this and am no longer being paid.  And yet I’m still answering lots of emails from my students who are panicking a little about their forthcoming exams.  Poor things.  Trying to give them as much advice as I can, although a lot of it boils down to “You really should have come to the seminars…they WERE the exam preparation”.  Interestingly some of my better students are worried, even though on paper they’re already 80% of the way there with a passing grade.

Job Hunting

Well no news on this front, so keeping my eyes open for any opportunities for employment.  Suspect the job I put in for the other week will either come to nothing, or I won’t hear anything until September; which is very, very frustrating.

Vienna ISIS Conference

Spent a good chunk of one morning this week working out my itinerary in finer detail.  Looks like the longest leg of the trip will be on the British Rail system to get to Heathrow.  No surprise there.  Hopefully I can figure out the Wein underground system to make it to and from my hotel okay.  Starting to have the normal pre-travel jitters I get before a conference trip, and the added flight (did I mention I hate flying) leg isn’t something I’m looking forward to much.  But I really hope it’ll be a great opportunity and that I learn lots.  And make more than a few professional contacts.  Trying to not let the anxiety overshadow my other work though, and more or less putting it out of my mind as much as I can.

Glad to see Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc touring Vienna the other day on the Eurovision semi-finals, as it gave me a taste for the city.  I may have time this weekend to flick through my guidebook on the city, or maybe just read Wikipedia in the middle of the night (my normal insomnia cure).

Other Conferences

June is now looking very conference heavy! 14 days of conferences/travel to conferences in my diary.  Only leaves about 9 other working days to do anything (one of the conferences means I lose a weekend so I’ll be effectively working a 12 day week at the start of June – since I fly back on a Monday, and have to write a conference talk for the end of that week as soon as I get back.  No rest for the PhD student.  At this rate July won’t come a moment too soon!  At least though I’ll get to reveal in the architectural and cultural glories of Vienna, Leicester, Nottingham and Manchester.  3 of those I might be being sarcastic about.

Right, time now to continue thinking about the Eurovision Song Contest I think!

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