In the academic world, at some point you'll be asked to be the chair for a paper or a conference panel. You'll need to introduce the speaker or speakers; keep time; and run the question session at the end. Having had some 'interesting' experiences recently, and indeed over my career, I decided I should be putting… Continue reading How to chair a paper or a conference panel
Back in 2016, I mused here on the difficulties of being a carer for an elderly relative, especially when something unusual happens. Then, it was a planned surgical procedure: last week, it was an entirely unplanned disaster scenario, when my mother somehow fell in her own flat on the day before her 90th birthday party… Continue reading Caring: when it all gets worse
Last weekend my cousin, who's the same age as me but not yet retired, came to stay and - inevitably - at one point we started talking about being 61. We agreed that it really is very odd being 'elderly'. We're old enough to be lumped in with those in their seventies but we still… Continue reading Growing old
day in a library no longer feels wicked, like it's been stolen from teaching activities. OK, it never should have felt like that, since research was allegedly part of the job, but ...
In the last 36 hours or so, lots of women I know who use Twitter (and lots of women I only know through Twitter) have added 'Dr' to their twitter handle (their Twitter ID) to make it clear that they have a PhD in some subject; thus, that they are experts. If you’re not on… Continue reading Why I’m not changing my Twitter ID to include ‘Dr’
So now all those who work at The Open University may finally have some 'closure': Peter Horrocks, the Vice-Chancellor, is going and the future suddenly looks a lot more open than it did a week ago. The acting V-C, Professor Mary Kellett, is in place and has issued a widely-welcomed message in which she calls… Continue reading Closure at the Open University?
So apparently all young people still at school should be taking on a Saturday job, according to the Works and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, who has reported a fall in the number of those taking such jobs. She said it's about learning timekeeping, putting down your phone and also "people understanding what a boss wants and… Continue reading The Saturday job and the day job
Back in December 2015, the then-newish Vice Chancellor - in post for about 7 months - attended Arts Faculty Committee, when the whole of what was then the Arts Faculty came together, and addressed the assembled masses. I think I was the first person to ask a question when the session was opened up to… Continue reading Letter to the VC: or, what academics do all the time
Is what central academics at The Open University 'teaching'? Apparently not. Just wondering why we write all the teaching materials, then...!
There's never been a strike in UK higher education like this one