Despite barely posting on the blog this year, I am still receiving quite a bit of blog traffic, so I thought I should offer up a bit of an update. This year I’ve had minor health issues – I have had over 20 doctor visits, 1 retrieval from work via a wheelchair, and 5 hospital visits. which has meant that the blog was one of the first things to receive less attention.
Nevertheless, life is good, I feel happy and am definitely on the way to better health. This year my highlights have been:
- go to Dublin City University to be on a student’s PhD viva. This was definitely one of the highlights for me as the PhD student was brilliant, the folk at DCU were very welcoming and took time to show me around Dublin, and I also managed to meet up with an old and dear friend from UWCSEA, Natalie, who I hadn’t seen since I was 17.
- become a reluctant media “go-to” person. Although I LOVE giving lectures and conference presentations, I always feel in control and prepared for those, whereas media is quite unpredictable, I never know what to expect and TV especially can be a bit daunting. However I have been in two newspaper articles, been interviewed on radio twice, and also been on TV twice! Although reluctant, I am genuinely thrilled that my research has received the attention it has, which is why I almost always say yes when asked. My ARC research appearing as a Catalyst story was another highlight of the year.
- having Professor Len Unsworth work at UTAS with me as a visiting fellow. Len has been a mentor since I first had a conversation with him about my work in 1998, and it is such a pleasure to continue working on research grants and publications together. Having him at UTAS to work with every day for some months really rejuvenated me like a shot in the arm!
- running a conference on New Literacies. Organising a conference was much harder than I expected, but it was lovely to have colleagues from around the world as well as locally to work intensely with us over 2 days and join in interesting conversations. I have to say that UTAS is very small, so those kind of like minded conversations within a specialised field like new literacies are quite rare.
- research has been going really well. We’re 2.5 years into our 3 year ARC grant and the days I spent working in schools (interviewing young kids about their animated movies / digital stories) are such a pleasure. I also received two other grants this year – one has almost finished (“teaching teachers for the future”) and another one has just started (“interreality fictions”). Research (and writing) is my favourite part of being an academic (as opposed to sitting in long dull meetings being talked at for hours on end!).
- art classes – yes I do other things aside from work, and its been lots of fun taking classes and making time to draw and paint.
- being with family and being in Tasmania. I am not sure whether I will be staying in Tasmania in the long term but I really love living here, and being close to my family, especially my brother Matthew who lives just 5 minutes away from me.
So, thanks if you’re still visiting the blog. Happy festive season