I have just spent three whole days at home actually sleeping in my own bed, following a month of hotels, friends’ spare rooms, sleeping in tents and even occasionally on trains. This month has been a nonstop whirlwind of firsts and a wealth of experience that I am still attempting to digest.

I decided when my second year began that I would seek as many opportunities as possible, I would get involved, I would say yes. I didn’t have the forsight to see that most of these things I was saying yes to would happen all at once.

In the last month I have seen the website for the new postgraduate journal Brief Encounters go live in my role as editor and web officer, I have organised one conference, spoken at two, and attended four. I somehow also managed to squeeze a nice relaxing trudge through the Glastonbury mud in there at some point.  (See me mid-June drinking wine out of a bag and singing in the rain to ELO…)

This say yes plan was principally to allow me to become a recluse in my drawing-ever-closer final PhD year, to allow me to build the CV and alleviate the anxieties of never gettting a job, as an academic or as anything else. But for all its busyness, this  month has been one of my best yet.

As a direct result of this busy period I haven’t had much time for writing, but several of the posts that follow will reflect on my experiences of the past month and on what they have meant for me as a PhD student just over the midway point (431 days remaining to be painfully precise).

Some may appear almost gushing in the praise of events and the people behind them, but over the last few weeks I have been genuinely overwhelmed by the researchers with whom I have been rubbing shoulders, and so offer no apologies, only admiration and an intensified ambition to become one of those elusive academics.

Links below:

cropped-royal19ci-f204v-dancingFestival Season…

The MEMS Summer Festival was great fun to be a part of and was witness to much of the same community spirit…

 

Congress Convert…

Part 1: #IMC2016

On the first Sunday of July I made the pilgrimage that all medievalists must at some time make…

Making Connections…

Part 2: #NCS16

Nexus is the defining word of my experience of NCS 2016. The congress was the coming together of…