Perceptions · Uncategorized

Week 56: Courses, Panels and Stories

It was a busy week leading up to a trip for Jacqueline and I to Snowdonia for the weekend. But first there were plenty of things to see and do.

On Tuesday, the first activity was the Effective Undergraduate Supervisions course run in the physics department. I had done the same course last year, but wanted to do a refresher in case I picked up any more teaching over the course of the year. It took up much of the morning, shared with Jake, who was also at the course.

After the course, I headed to the Gates room to clean up some donations from departing scholars. I was tasked in taking them over to Oxfam, so together with Emma, we hired a cab and ran some stuff over. However, there were some items that Oxfam couldn’t take, so we had to give them out to people from the GSCR. I also took the opportunity to catch up with a few people who were milling in and about the scholars room.

That afternoon, I had the opportunity to sit down with Miriam to talk through a number of issues arising from the #MeToo social media campaign that had erupted overnight. There was a strong response from the people in my network about sexual harassment and abuse to and of women, so I thought it seemed appropriate to show a bit of solidarity and talk about some of the issues. We sat for about an hour to discuss what can and needs to happen to support women.

After a long and productive talk, I went out to play a tennis game against a friendly Dane called Peter, before heading out to Nivedyam for dinner with a number of Gates scholars and their partners. It was good to catch up with Krittika, Joanna, Derek and Akhila, even if Joanna and Danny came late. From there, I went out to Churchill to the Gates Pub Night, where I got to catch up with Margaret, Eddie and Mike.

On Wednesday at the group meeting, I volunteered to run the group’s webpage, which involved updating the profiles and links of the people in the research group and working out who has left. Between two tennis matches, I went to the GSCR and the Planning the PhD Panel, which was put on by a number of fourth year scholars telling of the difficulties and processes they experienced through their degree.

Finally, on Thursday, Jacqueline and I went to a sports store in the Grafton to get some new rain jackets. We were heading to Wales over the weekend, and much rain was promised. After spending the day at work, I went to the Scholar Stories event hosted in the GSCR. There were four speakers, with a short break in between. The evening began with Mike, who told stories of the struggles he faced when dealing with his students during his life as a teacher. Then Saba told a tale of two dogs that she had met and bonded with while on fieldwork in India. After the break, Sara shared her experiences on archaeological field work in South America. Finally, Jessica explained how she managed her undergraduate field work interviewing sex workers in Argentina and Ecuador. A little more socialising, and I went home, in preparation for the Snowdonia trip over the weekend.

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