Happy New Year and welcome to my first blog post of the year. I will aim to write on here regularly over the next 12 months, and will finally blog about my Ph.D research.
I never make new year resolutions, but instead make a list of goals/ things to try/ additions to the bucket list etc. This year is no different. I have had 2 weeks of glorious annual leave, and the break has done me good. I am feeling even more excited than usual (!) and raring to go.
If I am honest, I was leaving 2016 feeling disillusioned with academia and in need of a rest. I had my viva in October and passed with 6 month corrections. It was exactly the outcome I expected, and I just needed a break from it. I submitted within my 3 years funding, which was my aim, and I just wanted rid of it for a bit. The whole thing wrecked my head, and we even spoke about the trauma of research in my viva itself!
I was under no illusion that my Ph.D was anything other than a starting point, an apprenticeship in being a researcher. I was teaching on 6 modules across 2 universities last semester, and this term, although I am missing Leeds already, I am going to be teaching on just 4 at the one uni. Therefore having one day a week to append on Ph.D corrections, and smashing a couple of journal articles out
I am not a natural academic. I do not wish to spend all my spare time writing and working (and tweeting about my workaholic tendencies!). On my weekends and free time I enjoy myself, seeing my friends (who I am so lucky to have!), spending quality time with my husband, walking my dogs, pole dancing, horse riding, swimming, volunteering, exploring. I don’t see having a social life as a privileged add-on; it makes me whole and adds to my creativity. I would go stir crazy without time off. I have blogged about the issue a few times, but being a workaholic and neglecting your friends and family isn’t something to be proud of. Your death bed won’t care. I don’t see success as a salary, publication list or occupation.. I judge it by how rounded and fulfilled your life is. Mental and physical health is my key concern. I don’t want a heart attack or breakdown.
I just love, and am fascinated with, people. I love listening. I love exploring and finding out.
I started volunteering at a local horse rescue over Christmas, and have part loaned a companion horse of 37 years old. Not only will this be fun and relaxing for me, but it is motivating my post-doc research aims of a horses as therapy project with either ex prisoners/ sex workers or other marginalised women. This is one of my main goals for the year.
One of my other goals is to make a short film about my Ph.D findings. Currently looking for contacts at Leeds Beckett or LJMU ideally, so get in touch if you can help! I want to disseminate my findings much more widely.
I also aim to apply for funding to do my lap-dancers in Liverpool photo voice project, with a photo exhibition afterwards.
I want to submit my Ph.D corrections In April, for a July graduation.
I want to apply for a permanent position this year. I love both universities I work at, but I need to settle down in one place and start developing my career. I need the opportunities for my further research and developing my own modules etc.
I want to think about submitting a book deal with the ‘public sociologist’ stuff I want to write about. Recommendations for Zero Books style publishers more than welcome.
I want to get my Aintree/whiteness/class stuff out there.
Personally, there is lots I want to do this year. My diary already has lots of plans, and 4 breaks booked in. Life is for living after all. I also want to do a lot more art, creative writing, dancing and related projects.
I am very lucky to be working within a field I love, doing what I enjoy, both teaching and research. The next 12 years are going to be interesting and exciting.
Let’s hope 2017 is a good year for all.
As always, please feel free to contact me on twitter @princessjack ,or via my university emails for formal enquiries.