Through Struggle and Indifference – now available!

Yes, I’m delighted to announce that (with insufficient fanfare given how much blood, sweat and tea went into its creation) my thesis Through Struggle and Indifference: the UK academy’s engagement with the open intellectual commons. is now available online and open access.

Regular readers will note I’ve managed to hide no fewer than 2 jokes in its pages – albeit minor ones.  And that’s not including the doubtless myriad of typos that are still in there too.

Guess this means I need to revise the other pages of this blog now to bring them up to date too.  Now, I just need to either re-write the whole damned thing into a book – or start writing some papers from it…the labour never ceases!

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Back in the Saddle

Monday (w/b 14th July )

A day spent feeling utterly wasted and horrifically bruised (thanks to a weekend away LARPing).  Spent it trying to stay awake, failing and then around 3pm plonked myself in front of the keyboard to start writing a paper I’ve got a deadline for this Friday…to discover my supervisor wants a meeting.  Nothing from him for two months and on the day I’m barely awake he reappears.  Gah.  Set a meeting for Thursday which means I’ll need to send him my 2 chapters by Weds.  Doubt I’ll get much more done on them before then, but no mileage in being too eager.  Did at least get the formatting all set up for the article.

Tuesday

Day spent feeling less bruised and a lot more mentally active, if feeling horribly stressed (although of late that’s basically my SOP).  Article drafted and almost done in a day, though around 6pm I just had to stop as my eyes were struggling to stay open.  Will give it a final polish tomorrow when I’m (hopefully) more awake.

Highlight of the day, some architects turning up to measure the house.  I thought they were due Friday, turns out they were due Thursday.  Everybody agreed to be wrong, and we’ll meet up again on Friday after all (which makes me technically correct; the best kind of correct)

Wednesday

Editing, lots of editing.

Thursday

Bright and early drive in for a meeting with my supervisors…which turned into a nearly 2hr thing filled with discussions.  Somewhat shocked that they’re really pleased with my progress and level of production – I constantly feel like I’m never working hard enough, so maybe that’ll assuage the guilt a little bit.  Director of Studies even asked if I was looking to submit later this year.  Nearly fell off the chair at that one, I think he was joking  – and frankly there’s still so much to do and be written about that it’ll never happen.  On the other hand we did discuss pulling back on some of the empirical work, as it may well be that I’ll have developed enough scholarly material without going through all of it; or at least to the level I originally planned.

PhD in a nutshell – an evolving ever changing beast!

Came home and started working on my talk for next Tuesday’s conference a bit.  But frankly the heat of the day did for me and I didn’t get too far.

Friday

Day spent writing, rewriting, rehearsing and redesigning my conference talk for Sheffield iFutures conference next week.  Fairly happy with the talk, although it’s a bit long and there’s some elements that don’t quite work as well as I’d hope.  Only having 15 minutes means I’m perhaps trying to squeeze too much into it.  Will come back on Monday and give it a final polish.

Monday (w/b 21st July)

Another hot day which saw me in battle with my presentation.  Spent a lot of time revising it to bring it down to well under 15 minutes, but without cutting too much core content.  Some of the slides I’m using are still way too busy, but in the end I managed to get it down to 15 minutes.  Will probably have to speed through it a bit too much.  Plan for next conference paper – one slide I think 🙂

Tuesday

The biggest cake in the world...and there were two of them
The biggest cake in the world…and there were two of them

Day spent in Sheffield at iFutures 2014 which was in part nostalgic and part shocking to see how much of Sheffield has changed since I was last back.  An interesting conference, although as always I think my interests were a little to the left of centre of the conference themes itself (not being a real-librarian researcher type for one), but the folks organising the day were splendid.  Papers and presentations from the day are online now – or you can access my presentation or the paper I wrote to accompany it (Cultural Influences on Academics’ Open Scholarly Dissemination Practice in UK HEIs).  Won a book as well on library metrics which looks interesting (and after I was rude about Neo-Tayloristic managerialism subsuming HE discourse too!).

Had a splendid meet up with some old friends before I went to catch the train, so a not bad day at all!

Wednesday

In a bit of a post-conference slump, and chewing over a few things that happened that slightly irked me.  Rather distracted me from efforts to edit truth be told which was somewhat of a frustration.  Don’t think the continued heat wave is helping things much either – so hot it is damned hard to work!  Realised the deadline for the September East-Midlands PhD conference is this Thursday and I wanted to put in a short paper for that too.  So ignored the editing and wrote this, a development on a theme from the Sheffield paper designed to be addressed to a more multidisciplinary audience.  About to mail it in and realised I’d made it far too pompous, so ended up making some last minute modifications before submitting.  Can’t believe 250 polished words took the best part of the day to write!

Thursday

Woke up with a sore neck, which I put down to sleeping awkwardly – but also a shockingly low level of energy.  Ascribed this to a lack of desire to edit the conclusions of this chapter.  I’ve put off doing this for a while, and ended up dumping all kinds of other bits of text here which means it is somewhat of a melange of information.  Managed through bleary eyes to do a top level rewrite on paper, but in the afternoon my sore neck turned into swollen glands – or rather gland (the left hand one).  And the low energy resulted in me falling asleep on my keyboard.  Dragged myself to bed and just slept – or tried to, as it now hurts when ever I swallow – and I’m swallowing a lot as my throat is dry.  Damn it, it’s a cold most likely and I’m planning to be away LARPing on Saturday.  Hopefully it’ll clear up over night and I’ll feel much brighter tomorrow.

Frustrating as I’d hoped to be done with this chapter draft by Friday at the latest, and now it looks like it’ll be Mon/Tue next week before its done.

Friday

Fat chance.  Terrible night’s sleep.  Left hand tonsil on fire, throat half closed off and it hurts to swallow anything.  Pain killers help make the pain bearable, but the exhaustion. Oh the exhaustion.  Basically half the day spent in bed sleeping/trying to sleep.  Sulking as think the weekend is probably wreaked.

To Harrogate in a Hand Cart (UKSG 2014)

This week I was mostly attending the annual UKSG conference in a very sunny Harrogate*.  Which was lucky, given that every time recently someone asked me where I was going, I’d kept on saying “Huddersfield”.  Ahem. Despite my geographic lack of nounce I did manage to turf up in the right place, and a full (and exhausting) few days it was.  The following is an attempt at capturing some thoughts on the event**.

Sunday

Traveled up a day early as the conference was due to kick off at 10am sharp the following day, and I didn’t fancy a crack of dawn start.  Helped by the fact that UKSG and a couple of publishers had sponsored by attendance, and thus covering pretty much all my major conference expenses.  The drawback being I was expected to be on stage at the start of the whole thing to be awarded by sponsorship…erm, plaque or something (it wasn’t quite clear – it might have been a big bag of money for all I knew).  Pleasant enough journey up from the Peak District (brother’s birthday treat), nice hotel and then an evening meal with a couple of chums – although we failed to be served in two restaurants before we found one that would serve us.

Monday

Day One of the conference proper, and thankfully the Harrogate International Conference Centre wasn’t too far a walk, and with the cool but bright sunshine there was a good feel in the air.  I managed to walk onto the stage for my award (and goodie bags), and only slightly messed up the publicity photographs by appearing in them.

The first two talks were Prof Xiaolin Zhang China Going Forward: research, scholarly coms and libraries and Dave De Route with The Future of Scholarly Communication. I confess the first of these talks was a bit full of graphs and quantitative data that flashed by at such a rate, that it started to feel like the last 30 minutes of 2001.  Without a great deal of time to digest the slides, the twitter channel came alight with what would be one of the memes of the conference, meaningless graphs!  Where I did follow his narrative I got a little annoyed to see a neoliberal*** imperative inherent as once again science and technology were equated to a healthy economy and hence a “self-evident good”.  Slaves to the almighty capital are we all it seems.

Dave’s talk on the other had I was more interested in, and his comment that while the Internet was designed for scientific communication, it hasn’t really helped it advance as much.  Thus are the forms of communication (the journal etc) we use still fit for purpose?  He raised the idea that given they had worked for centuries there must be something they do right, and they have lasted because they are social objects.  However, he suggested that the research article will be dead as of 2030.  And now – are we at a turn in scholarship dissemination or part of an ongoing transformation?

After this (and a brief break) we went off to the first of the breakout sessions.  I went for one entitled Open access comes of age: implementing open access policies at UCL, Manchester and beyond.  it was interesting hearing the contrast in policies and approaches at the two institutions.  I was also interested to hear more about OA Intermediaries – or as I seem to perceive them, another way publishers can cream money out of HE.  It seems they are there to help APC bills get paid on time…so I read this as organisations that take payment, to make a payment.  My note to myself reads “So, they’d be on the Golgafrincham B Ark then!”.  The speaker’s comment “There really is a role for intermediaries” seemed to have the subtext “There really are good profits to be made as intermediaries”.

(Yeah, sorry, the neoliberal critique mode doesn’t seem to turn off any more.)

Back then for the next set of plenaries.  Firstly John Rogers with Open access and research management.  Some interesting perspectives coming from the research manager direction, although very much slanted towards the exploitation of research.  Given John’s background in research and enterprise though that wasn’t a big shock.  He did highlight the idea of unexpected events being triggered from open scholarship; such as ORCID with the research community seeking to identify themselves uniquely in a shifting community.  He also casted skepticism on HEFCE’s expectation that there would be no additional costs for the OA transition, given the significant resource requirements needed in the medium term.

Then it was Steven Hill of HEFCE with a talk entitled Towards the Next Research Excellence Framework.  In this he noted that we are coming to a big change about how we think about research and do it.  The current way research assessment is done need to evolve in order to take account of how research is being done and disseminated; for example the developments in open research and open science in recent years.  He also very neatly discussed the post-2014 REF policy from HEFCE, and the 3 requirements that apply to journal articles and conference proceedings after 1/April/2014:

  • Must be deposited: (author version at least) on acceptance.  Where is flexible, but unis probably mean IR
  • Must be discoverable: (publicly available metadata record (people who need to read outputs will seek them out)
  • Must be accessible: – 12month by STEM or 24 months for AHSS submitted materials.

This was considered a simple overview, and he admitted there was nuance; such as if monographs and data were also shared openly, then this would count towards the assessment credits.  Meanwhile HEFCE are continuing to broadly review metrics used in research assessment and performance.  It was hoped that this work would help HEIs to think about how they use metrics themselves for staff management and assessment (if you can get over the depressing neoTaylorism inherent in all metrics in HE that is).  He also highlighted the idea behind open research assessment, given that in the research cycle there is much of the focus placed on the funding and publishing phases to the neglect of other areas.  He insisted that this will change, meaning that the network of outputs that now represent research (not just articles) need to be considered.  All of which means a big challenge for assessors.

The next breakout I attended was about the JISC APC pilot and its successor JISC Monitor.  For some reason every time someone mentioned the word Monitor, all I heard was “Lizard”.  Not quite sure why.

The APC project concludes in July 2014, and has brought publishers, libraries, funders etc together to explore issues around managing the process of paying APCs for gold OA.  They developed case studies aimed to identify best practice which pointed out that people are generally still in early stages of establishing institutional workflows and processes  to mange it.  Notably publishers aren’t willing to develop UK specific solutions, as other countries’ approaches to OA are different, and hence there’s insufficient market interest (or profitability).  Once again the value of intermediary service was flagged up.   
The day was wrapped with three brief lightning talks which were refreshingly brief and punchy.  Peter Burnhill’s fairies of digital archiving were probably the one that I was most entertained by – the core message seeming to be “Don’t rely on publishers to be the digital archive of record” mind you.
After that there was a reception, but as it had been so hot in the conference centre I dashed back to the hotel for a shower and change of clothing, before the evening’s quiz and curry.  Didn’t win the quiz, but the curry and company were excellent – and I rounded off the night shopping at Asda for some water!
Rock and/or roll.

Tuesday

Day 2 kicked off with a triple header of plenary talks around rust, impacts and workflows.  Carol Tenopir spoke about trust and authority issues in scholarly communications – key messages: peer review is still the coin of the realm, and altmetrics is largely an alien concept to most academics even if they do like to see stats like download and article views.  This was followed by one of my favourite talks of the conference by llama-friends Ernesto Priego  discussing The Impacts of impact: challenges and opportunities of multichannel work.

Ernesto forewent the stat heavy approach to presentation, concentrating on snappy slides with short phrases on them – as someone suggested – a presentation for the twitter age.  A key message I took away was something I’ve commented on myself, and that is the polarisation between positions in the OA debate.  I also liked his comments about academic view points being mythologist, and how they are a diverse group not a block with differences across culture and background.  He also picked out the issues around OA and its STEM focus, and how AHSS researchers experience a very different, and more isolated, academic environment (monk-like; sounds familiar).   He also introduced the snappiest quote of the whole conference “Publishing: Where content goes to die”.  If I were you, I’d go watch his talk now, it’s very illuminating.

The final talk of the session was Guilhem Chalancon giving a perspective of a young researcher’s approach to knowledge management.  There was a fair bit of chatter about this one following the session, in particular the absence of the library (or its systems/OPAC) from his knowledge gathering apparatus.  Confess that’s familiar to me, as the library tends to be my fall back when I can’t find information elsewhere.  My favourite factoid from Guilhem was that the attention span of internet users is somewhere around 8-9 seconds…which I can…hey, shiny object on top of a list of 35 top lolcats!!!

Oh dear, too much Buzzfeed has warped mine too it appears.

After this I shot over to watch a session from Graham Stone and Joy Palmer about the LAMP project on library analytics and data; which stemmed from an interest in how supermarkets and online retailers use their users’ data for competitive business reasons; so why can’t libraries do the same.  Choice comment from the audience was a publisher wanting to get their hands on this “Useful to us” data.  Ahem, more freebies from academia for the publishing industry?  I understand though from talking to folks around the session that this isn’t the first time this question has reared its head.

Back to the main auditorium then for three lighting talks.  The first on Knowledge Unlatched from Frances Pinter (essentially a library consortium that pay publishers to make their monographs OA) raised my hackles for reasons I’m still not 100% sure about the idea of giving publishers effectively a guaranteed return on a monograph like this, although i guess it might help bolster the flagging commissioning market for AHSS books.  In my view it just seems to keep the LIS/HE sector in a subordinate position to the publishing industry; rather than engendering a more equal partnership.  Ellen Collins talked about Open UK and Monographs reporting on a 5 year research programme looking at what happens to sales and usage when books were made OA.  How OA monographs affect the publishing and dissemination environment was a key part of this work.  Naturally she noted that lots of stakeholders and would need to be involved in any changes in OA monographs publishing.  Changes would need to take place both conceptually, and practically at many levels of the industry.  She concluded that the monograph world is changing, OA needs to work with it.  Personally I don’t think the OA world is working against monographs, but I suspect there might be a need for more revolutionary moves than simple progress before this area is working as well as it once did.

There was also a talk about the OA collections at the Royal Botanic gardens, but I confess it didn’t especially grab me.

Following a lunch (where the repeat of the previous day’s hot food drove a small splinter group of us to a nearby pub for more simple, and digestible, fare) I went to a breakout session by Anders Söderbäck entitled the The Library Happens Elsewhere.  As this involved a lot of discussions in small groups I didn’t make extensive notes; beyond the issue of trying to gaze 10 years ahead is never an easy one.  Among our discussions was a critique of how important the library catalogue and resource discovery systems actually were to end users.  I confess we didn’t exactly end up singing their praises.

There was another breakout session after this, but I had to hightail it up the the hitherto unknown 7th floor to participate in a UKSG Conference Webinar.  Sound problems dogged this one a little bit (not to mention the oven like room) but it was an interesting experience all the same, although I’m not that sure how much value it was to the listening audience.  Hope it was useful to some!

The day finished with some more rapid lightening talks, of which the only point that chimed with me was Ed Pentz discussing Implementing ORCID and noting that they are the path to sustainability (though corporate membership) by the end of 2015.  A good chunk of the audience there had already claimed their ORCID ID, so it seems to be doing well.

And that was it for the day – although there was the jamboree of the conference dinner, which was okay but to honest nothing stunning. Sadly I ended up having  a rather long and intense post-dinner conversation in a side room, so I never did get to explore the dance floor (or the cheese tasting), but the Yorkshire cider was rather nice.

And the less said about the town cryer the better.

Wednesday

Day 3 started with an apology for saucy video content at the disco (which I’d totally missed) and then a series of short talks around issues of resource discovery.  Truth be told I wasn’t as interested in the theme of this session as others (and the terrible wifi was really starting to grate) but there were some good speakers (including my old staff member and friend Valérie) so it wasn’t a waste of time by a long mark.  The last speaker Simone Kortekaas interesting was presenting around a topic I’d been discussing with other people during the conference, that was the concept of doing away with the library catalogue; although the point was made that falling back on Google is all well and good but there’s no guarantee of their or their services longevity either.  It had worked for her library for over 6 months though, so there might be something to it.

The last breakout I attended was around MOOCs and OER with Siobhan Burke of JORUM speaking.  As I’m attending an OER conference in a couple of weeks I went along to brush up my background knowledge.  I was interested with the idea that the term MOOC has more social currency than OER, despite the latter being longer in the tooth.  It was also eyebrow raising to hear that while completion rates on MOOCs can exceed 40%, on average only 13% of sign ups actually complete.

Back then to the very final plenary session and a cancellation of a talk on open data which was a shame.  However, the other scheduled speaker was Bill Thompson of the BBC (and previously the Guardian) on The Open Library and its Enemies.  By a country mile this was the single finest talk of the whole conference, and I was fascinated how much it resonated with the topics I’ve been lecturing on to my students back at NTU.  Actually, I wished they could have been there along with me to hear it, as they’d really have benefited.  I shan’t attempt to capture the essence of this one, but once a copy of the video goes up I’d encourage you to watch it!

The final talk then, was a bonus talk by Sarah Durrant entitled Surviving is important, thriving is elegant.  My hat is off to her for stepping in at short notice, but frankly it was basically a sales pitch full of what I suspect Mrs Llama would have described as “Kaftan wearing, lentil eating hippy shit”.  I rapidly switched off, and by the tone of the twitter back channel (and rapidly evaporating audience) so did most other people.  A real shame as it was a very flat end to what was a cracking conference.

And so, then after a pit stop to pick up a lunch to go it was time to depart Harrogate and return to Leicestershire (as I was teaching on Thursday).  Thankfully, I had very fine company from LISU/Loughborough all the way back so the 4hrs flew by.

Would I go again? In an instant (and there were some calls on twitter for me to give a talk next time – which I would love to do).  Will I be able to afford it?  Hmn, that’ll be the big question!

Overall

To be honest while there were a few niggles, overwhelmingly this was a cracking conference.  I came away much inspired and re-energised in various ways.  There were some great talks and moments, not to mention all the fantastic conversations I had in and around the event which aren’t easy to capture here.  I was really grateful to have been able to attend, for which my hat is off to the conference organisers and sponsors for their generosity in this respect!

Of course somethings weren’t so great (I thought someone would explode over the paucity of the venue wifi) as is natural with any event with 1,000 odd delegates; but I’m pretty sure the conference team were working their fingers to bone to keep things ticking along as well as they did (I speak from the experience of being on the other side of the fence).

The Good: Content of talks, variety of delegates, networking, discussions about my research, stimulation and inspiration,  curry night, freebies, my hotel room (which I saw very little of)

The Bad: Venue temperature (boiling & freezing in places), special catering, conference dinner food

The Ugly: Venue wifi, lack of water generally


But don’t take my word for what went down – check out some of the following links for more:


*Oh the handcart?  That refers to my rolling suitcase 🙂

**A cut down (and polished) version of some of these reflections will pop up in the UKSG Insights I believe (along with thoughts from other sponsored delegates) – so if you’re pressed for time, I’d wait on that rather than wading through this posting.

***I think there’s something of a neoliberal critique of the whole conference fermenting in my head which I might share on the blog in the coming week.

 

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Noodling about Nodes

Monday

My private office
My private office

Today I went to work on campus again in what turned out to be my own private office for a large chunk of the day.  Thank you NTU library.  Sadly around 2pm another (quiet) student came in, and then another (very noisy one), so the office went downhill from that point onward.  All the same though, it is nice to have a space I don’t have to fight undergrads off for and I’m very surprised more people don’t use it.

Maybe I’d better not advertise it too much!

Spent half the day sorting through my draft tags for the transcripts and trying to get them into some sort of cognitive order.  Wrote half the seminar for Thursday as well, just need to do the introductory slides on Weds after the lecture.  Suspect my students won’t have a lot of laughs with this one (it’s a discussion) but they will learn something!  I also discovered while I was on campus, and thanks to the helpful ITS people, that not only do we students have access to NVivo software, but that I can install it on my home PC.  Which I duly did when I got home late afternoon.  And then stared at it for a while.

Okay, I think I’m going to have to seek out a few tutorials on this to really get to grips with it.  I did glance at how much the training workshops were – but sadly I don’t have £400 just lying around, and as far as I can tell the university doesn’t offer anything in the way of training either.  Oh if only the RTP last year had included a 2hr session on this, rather than wasting time getting us to draw posters and colour in pictures of “the ideal researcher”.  In the meantime, at least I’ve found the first video to watch on the subject – I just need to go track down a few more now.

Tuesday

More coding, more notelets, more thinking.  Not to mention keeping myself awake in the middle of the night worrying about coding and how I’m ever going to get it done to a level I’ll be satisfied with (let alone my supervisors).  Gah, yesterday I was looking forward to getting into this – today I’m finding the stress is getting in the way way of the thinking.  Not fun.  Going to be glad to be out of the house tomorrow for a change of pace.

Wednesday

Went in first thing to campus to do some work and print some things off, and then went to this week’s media studies lecture – on The Internet.  I’ve heard of that, and I think it’s going to be really big someday!  An especial treat as it was my supervisor who was giving the lecture, so it was nice to see him in action.  I’ve seen him doing seminars, and I really like his laid back lecturing style.  Wish I could be like that rather than a llama on a hot tin roof.

Went home after this and did  some more coding work, even if my concentration levels were less than stellar I’ll confess.  I don’t like the winter months as I feel wiped out all the time.  Roll on spring and some sunlight!

Cake!
Cake!

In other news I baked a cake in the evening. Tasty!

Thursday

A morning spent working on coding (not much progress made), a few hours seminaring and then trying to write a book review in the late afternoon.  All while it snows/rains and is basically horrible outside.

Without a doubt the seminar was this week’s highlight, which is a real turn up for the books.  Started with only 6 students in the class due to traffic and it being cold and scary with wolves on the road (I assume) so most of the rest didn’t show.  We had a debate about technological and social determinism and British society in the wake of the Internet.  And my students, bless them, contributed nicely.  They even made me laugh and smile with some of their insights, which was great – nice to feel I’m getting some insight into their views and thoughts as I’m sure they’re sick to death with my anecdotes at times.

That said I did manage to work in the image of Mrs Llama and I in bed reading our tablets as an example of (arguable) technologically determined behavior.  Came out with a real glow after that session because it felt like they’d really engaged with the topic!  Now, if they can just get through the class test in two weeks with good marks I’m gonna be really happy.

Friday

Me, nose frozen
Me, nose frozen

Building coding frame.

Frame code building.

Coding frame building.

However you rearrange it – this was pretty much my entire day.  Plus the house was cold, but actually I made some good progress – even if I did rip my frame apart yet again and rebuilt it largely.  Also heard a confirmation that my teaching is increasingly to a solid 2hrs a week after the reading (RED) week next week.  Excellent, will enjoy the extra practice and even more the tiny additional weekly boost of funds.

But with the rain and wind lashing against the house, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go and sit in my oven and try and warm up.  Think I’ll be heading into campus on Monday again to thaw out!

Welcome to Level 2

And so I slide into the second (of potentially four) years working on my PhD.  It’s been a bit of a choppy week for me workwise as I’ve had some family issues to deal with, which have taken out a few days from my schedule.  As such I’m not going to belabor the epistolary formula this week and just give you the short report for once.  I’m sure there may be some of my (semi) regular readers who’ll be glad of that!

Library camp: Despite no longer being a librarian, I owe a lot of what I am and my outlook to that glorious becardiganed set. As such I’ve signed up to attend the Library Camp 2013 unconference in Birmingham in November.  And offered to run the odd session or two too.

Editing: I’m still working on the chapter. Go away.  I don’t want to talk about it right now. (Gah!)

Research Training: Despite horrid train issues I made it to the briefing for the RPC (or the Professional Research Practice Course I think it’s called now) briefing on Tuesday.  Turns out you can opt to do the whole module 2 in a three-day intensive burst or every couple of weeks.  I’ve opted for the burst mode.  I’ll miss seeing some of the old gang, but as they’ve relocated it out to City Campus it really is a pain and a half to get there for me.  That’ll all be in November.

PhD Chat: As a consequence of the briefing for the course I did catch up with some of the old gang, and had a very intensive conversation with a few of them.  Thanks folks, that really helped cheer me up (and I am NOT going to finish this PhD as quick as some of you seemed to think!).

New year, new job: Yes, I was interviewed (or rather had an informal chat to my department head and a module leader) on Thursday.  As a result I am now a university lecturer of sorts – I’ll be leading seminar groups from next week on a core media module.  More on that…once I know what it is I’ve got myself in to!  Excited as this is just what I wanted to do as part of my PhD experience, and mildly terrified as to what I’ve taken on!

My dad: Thanks for asking…he’s likely to pass in the next few days.

Next week: Looks like a busy one.  I’m deadlining myself to edit the last half of the chapter so I can wave it past my supervisors, I need to sort out this research training course and of course find out just what I’m teaching in these 23 seminars I’ve got lined up!