Archive for Gorffennaf, 2015

Not so Ed Wood after all!

It’s funny how different things are now, than they were two years ago when I wrote my last post. At that time I was going through the everyday life equivalent of ‘the void’ (Deep Space Nine). I was nearing the end of my umpteenth short-term contract, I’d struck out on the grant-landing front (though I narrowly missed it etc. etc., was on the final short list etc. – this became my central narrative for several months!) And I was concerned about becoming the academic equivalent of Ed Wood. Well, things were to get far worse before they got better. As my contract ran out (yes, completely) I felt like a cartoon character that had just accidentally run off the edge of a cliff and was frantically running in mid-air, seconds away from drop into the ravine below. However someone threw me a rope at the last second. It was another short-term research contract, even shorter than the last, and after a fashion I was kept on the pre-PhD grade (despite being ‘post’), but it kept the wolf from the door and kept me in a scholarly role. I burnt the candle both ends to identify participants (in a 0 to 60 kind of a way), collect all the data and write the preliminary report. I even helped with compiling the final report for the funders, beyond the end of my contract. And then this time last summer I was completely unemployed, with no leads. I scoured jobs.ac.uk, I signed up for University job agencies, and I felt more like Ed Wood than ever. I hung around in Treffin University, where I have to say I was treated with much kindness and given lots of support and encouragement. I drifted, I fretted, and I wrung my hands. Then the wind changed.

A perfect job for me turned up. It was further away from home than was ideal but I couldn’t let that get in my way. I applied. I got it. I started in October. All went well. Then a lectureship came up…and I applied…and I got it! What a difference a year makes?! I have just returned from a conference where I took part in two presentations and I have a few weeks to prepare myself (including completing and submitting my four teaching assignments so that I can apply to the HEA). I start my new post on 1st September 2015.  I am soooo excited! But am wary of being smug; I’ve been lucky. But I am beginning to feel that I am shaping up to be a reasonable academic – a bit out there, but then so was Feyerabend! And whilst I’m obviously not claiming that I’m going to be the next Feyerabend, as it turns out I’m not so Ed Wood after all!

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