The past few weeks have been frantic. I have worked hard to meet the deadline for the submission of my revamped panel document and managed to submit it last week. Luckily, I now have some time to spend with other people, because my life has been quite hermit-like for the past month or so.
I am now preparing for my panel, which will take place on the 9th of December. Hopefully with a positive outcome, obviously. But no matter what the result will be, I have made a lot of progress over the past few months. My notetaking and critical reading skills have improved, I feel more able to structure my argument well and all the elements of my project feel logical rather than random. The daunting question of “the contribution my research will make” is still scary, but at least I can answer it now in a way that doesn’t make me sound like a total fool.
Apart from that, I’m preparing conference abstracts and considering options for publication. I have deliberately kept my agenda rather empty over the past few months to make sure I had as much time as possible to spend on my thesis. After Christmas, however, I would like to take my research ou into the world a bit more. It will be exciting to see how people will respond to my project now it’s changed so drastically. In any case I feel more comfortable talking about it now than I did a few months ago. I feel like I know what I’m doing, rather than pretend to know what I’m doing. Which is positive, I suppose.
I have been taking training which focused on teaching lately, and am looking forward to next week’s session on delivering effective lectures. It’s interesting to be making the transition from student to tutor soon. I can vividly remember being in incredibly boring or disorganized seminars and will use my experiences to improve my own teaching. Of course much depends on the students, but I think it’s safe to say that I will never resort to simply reading out powerpoint slides and call that a lecture (as some of my former teachers did).
Tomorrow is the day of the second Public Intellectual event about working with, rather than for, the media. Hopefully this session will supply some tools for dealing with the mysterious moloch which combines printed and electronic news sources these days. A summary and evaluation of the day will follow soon.
To be continued!