Classically Inclined

April 12, 2012

A year of blogging

Filed under: Meta — lizgloyn @ 12:58 pm

I can’t quite believe that it was a year ago that I wrote my first ever blog post. An awful lot has happened since then in my professional and my personal life – for instance, I got the job of Teaching Fellow at Birmingham, where I’ve been since September; I moved back to the UK; I’ve spoken at various conferences and have more lined up; I’ve had articles go off to seek their fortunes and come back in fairly good form (although with work that needs to be done). Overall, not bad for a first year after completing the Ph.D.

There are still challenges, though. I’m now looking for a job for the next academic year, and considering what the plan will be if I don’t find one – which, due to the current pressures of this phase of the REF cycle, is looking like a real possibility. I’m trying to get myself into a position where I can begin to do the revisions necessary to turn the thesis manuscript into a book. And there are those articles, which need to be sorted sooner rather than later. It’s really not a good time to be an academic at this stage of my career.

But in terms of the blogging – my minature manifesto that I set out last year said that I wanted to talk about the transition from graduate student to member of faculty; my research; and my teaching. I’d say that the teaching has probably done best, with the research sort of getting a look in, although not as much as I’d like; the professional development side of things has not been as prominent, partially because of being swamped with things to do, and partially because of privacy issues. (That said, I do need to write a post about me and the REF before too long.)

But the other things that a blog is supposed to do have worked as well. I have readers who presumably enjoy the content I post here; I have colleagues who get to know a bit about who I am and what I do, which given I’m coming from six years in the U.S. is not a bad thing. I’ve got a space where I can continue to potter and explore the things I notice in my research and the world around me, whatever shape that may take. Not bad for a year, all things considered.

March 3, 2012


Filed under: Meta — lizgloyn @ 11:14 am
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After I wrote my post on #femlead on Thursday, the good people over at the University of Venus asked whether I’d mind having it reposted over on the blog platform that they host in partnership with the Chronicle of Higher Education. Given that I’ve been wanting to write something for them for a while, it didn’t take me very long to say yes… so the post is now also available on the University of Venus blogsite. Hurrah for minor internet notoriety!

April 12, 2011

Why blog?

Filed under: Meta — lizgloyn @ 6:20 pm
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I know it’s terribly meta to begin a blog with a post on why one should blog, but bear with me.

I have just defended my Ph.D. in classics, and am still revelling in my new-found status of Dr. Gloyn. I’m about to make a move across the ocean, after spending six years in the US graduate school system, so it feels like a good time to stop and reflect on that experience.

It also seems like a good point to start sharing some of my thoughts about my research publically. There has been a lot of really interesting commentary recently about using blogging as a way of sharing and reflecting on your own work – this page has some great links to general thoughts on the subject, while Tristram Hooley over at Vitae has some general hints and tips on how to get started. And while I might be coming to this a bit too late to use blogging as a tool to finish my Ph.D., it’s certainly not too late to use it for getting a head start on my other research, and indeed on transforming my thesis into a book!

Finally, this is a good time for me to think about my teaching. I have spent the past year as a fellow of the Rutgers Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, where I’ve learnt a great deal about how to approach teaching and some ways to make sure I keep my teaching alive – one of which is continuing to reflect on why I do what I do, even if I’ve not been inside a classroom for the last couple of years.

So! Those are my reasons for blogging – let’s see how it goes!

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