Thursday, 25 October 2012

My first blog post

Posted by Emma L Giles

Okay, so I’d better come clean and own up straight away…this is my very first blog. Now, it’s not like I didn’t know what a blog was before now, but I had never been that interested. I have a Facebook account and log on occasionally. I even tried twitter once, but I failed to ‘see the point’ of it. So when I thought I might venture into this blog business I wasn’t quite sure what the purpose was. However, since reading the Fuse blogs in particular, I think I may have seen the light.

The little book of anxiety, by Kerri Sackville
I am a post-doc, which basically means that since handing in my thesis (aka a large door stop that I have since looked at about ten times) in 2009, I have been working at Newcastle University as a Research Associate. My first post-docs were largely teaching-based, and so I would never have even contemplated writing a blog at that time. My topics would largely have been around such thoughts as: oh heck, what do I do when 300 students pile into the lecture theatre?? Oh my goodness, I was caught in the headlights today when I couldn’t answer a student’s questions, what to do, what to do??? I…honestly…cannot…mark…one…more…assignment…that…reads…the…same…

Gladly, such issues are no longer the reasons why I lie awake at night. Mainly because I have moved to the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle and now I actually do research as a research associate, but also because after six years of teaching groups of 50-300 students I am no longer scared by large groups. I can think of a semi-professional and intelligent answer to most student questions, and I have learnt that every student contributes something different in their assignments (most of the time).

So why then am I writing this blog? Well, I was actually going to write about my experience of publishing academic papers as a new career researcher. However, this thought abruptly ended when I started to type. I realised that my first blog might actually be somewhat lacking: would it be entertaining? Would I need to be funny (I’m not naturally a comedian)? What happens if the editor rejects my blog? What DO I WRITE? 

I think, funnily enough, this blog has actually taught me something. It’s taught me that I’m a born worrier and that there will always be something that I am anxious about. However, this is where I can see some advantages of this blog business (I may even have started to like them as well). Blogs allow you to air your thoughts, to share concerns with others, and to (sometimes) receive helpful comments and advice.
I think I’m going to write that second blog soon, surprisingly about my worries around publishing. That is, if the editor doesn’t reject this first blog.

However, don’t ask me to go on twitter again.

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