Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Momentous days

What a momentous week I have had. This photo is of me presenting a paper on research informed teaching and methodologies within creative writing at the NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) Conference held in Cheltenham at the weekend. This was the second paper I had given in three days. As those of you who follow my blog may know I have been quite worried about these but both papers were well received. The other paper I gave was at the Faculty of Arts International Symposium. This was the paper I was more comfortable about as it was on my thesis and had a ridiculously long title: In a society where teenagers live by sound bites is there still a place for young adult fiction? This was the first time I had presented at my own university but I had many friends who came to support me which was wonderful. I did fluff the questions a bit at the end though which was quite disappointing. It was an 'international' symposium because my great friend Jen Webb and her colleagues, whom I now can also consider as friends, Jeri Kroll and Donna Lee Brien, all from Australia and all Professors, also presented. It was a fabulous events with great papers also by Dr Neil McCaw and Charlotte Purkiss - who did a great piece on Ficto-criticism.

The three Australians were also at NAWE and they were fantastic company. I haven't laughed so much for a very long time. They presented two great workshops on research practice and research supervising which I found really useful and enlightening. Jen and Jeri were able to come to my paper which gave me a lot of confidence. I was terrified of this paper yet it went brilliantly and this time I didn't fluff the questions. I was on cloud nine and it is Jen who kindly took the photo of me.

I am hugely grateful to the Australians and Jen in particular for making it a very special few days

Then today I had a meeting with my Director of Studies and we have a plan! We are aiming for me to submit my thesis on 1st April with a final viva voce at the end of May. If all goes well and gall bladder permitting!!

I should be flying high, instead I am fighting the black dog that has decided to appear. The photo shows me wearing my rucksack. This is not by choice it is because it carries the nutrition in that I need that is pumped straight into the stomach. Prior to being ill I had been feeding overnight so had avoided the 'hiking' look. It was a bit of shock seeing it so prominent again and I think it was that that allowed the black dog to come knocking. My DoS was great and reminded me who I was and what I am achieving and have achieved.

Time to beat the black dog back into his kennel and build on the success I have had over the last week. PhD here I come.

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