Posted by September Blue Thursday, 12 March 2009

All right! I should update this more often. And in honour of that, here's a several-years-belated introduction.

I'm 28. I have a PhD in Victorian literature, earned through blood, sweat, toil, tears, and a conveyor belt of first-year essays to mark. There's a conversation happening across a few academic blogs at the moment regarding the number of people who get the PhD in a fairly pleasant environment with nothing to concentrate on but their own research and the occasional class to teach, and that wasn't my experience, by a long way. There was one year I had four jobs plus the PhD, and I earned £10500 and gave the university £3000 of it for tuition... we're not going to dwell on that, but it's fair to say those weren't the absolute best days of my life in many ways, although they were great in others.

At the moment, I'm a postdoc in a field which both is and isn't within shouting distance of my own. I love my job, my new department, the fact that for the first time in five years I can get all the sleep I need (which turns out to be about six hours when I'm not working the job-juggling schedule from the jaws of hell), and to a growing extent, the city I've moved to, which is huge and confusing and seems to be lacking in hills and woods and wildlife but has some things going for it all the same. And I am determined to learn to love this place.

I live in a little flat with a spiral staircase in an old Victorian school; my bedroom was once the headmaster's office. My much-loved tropical fish live with me, and I am not at all joking when I say that the best way I've ever found to motivate myself to get research done in the past is by thinking of the big reef aquarium I'm going to get when I can afford it. My boyfriend is a scientist, although disappointingly this seems to be all done on computers these days with nary a lab-coat nor a test tube to be seen.

For the first time in four years, I'm not teaching. I can't decide whether I miss it or not.

In non-academic parts of my life, which I am hoping will get a bit more headspace now, I like cameras and horses and sci-fi and far-away places and the idea that the thylacine isn't extinct after all. (I do not like long walks on the beach, because it is hot and there is sand.) And music, and fossils, and Macs. My work schedule for the past few years killed off all my hobbies; I'm hoping to fix that in the future.

Also, my blood group is O+. I find this rather disappointing.

1 Responses to Introduction

  1. Autumn Song Says:
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.