This summer was quite busy. Whilst it was nice relaxing at home, and exploring the countryside around my home, I also worked on my Chinese (I’ve had lessons via Skype), and wrote and did research for a couple of papers I might write.
Last year I think it was, a friend sent me a cfp – call for papers – for proposals for chapters in a book about Doctor Who and history. Given that this friend knows I’m a fan of the show, and that I discussed some Doctor Who stories in my doctoral thesis, she sent it over. I submitted a draft and it was accepted. It’s gone back and forth a couple of times, for editing. Nothing major, but a few tweaks here and there. In August the book was officially published. It’s pretty cool seeing your work in print.
The editors also thought it would be cool to get a ‘voice of China’ perspective, from some Whovians here. That’s no small task, given the population of the country and my very limited Chinese skills. But never let it be said that I just give up, haha. It just so happens one of my ex-students was a big fan of the show. So, pooling my resources and approaching her, she was happy to contribute and got six or seven of her friends who are also fans to contribute too. In the end I wrote a long blog post which was serialised over four days (see part 1, 2, 3 & 4).
The other two articles I have written – or tried to write (given that I don’t like academic writing, it’s difficult to motivate myself and I’m not that good at it either, so that compounds things a little too) – are ones which have already been written, but just need amending/reworking in places. The first, an article about the 1970s television series Doomwatch was one I’d already written for possible submission somewhere – I just didn’t know yet where to send it. The second is based on a paper I wrote for a conference I attended last year at Renmin University. It was mostly for postgraduate students, though they kindly let me attend and submit a paper. This is on the well-worn topic of air pollution, so whether it will get any traction or not I don’t know.
When I was at Amsterdam airport, awaiting my flight to Manchester, I happened to check my emails, as one does with time on their hands. I received an email from a French (I presume) professor of British history at the Sorbonne, inviting me to submit a paper for a forthcoming edition of the journal French Journal of British History. So I pondered on which of the two I should submit and decided on the Doomwatch one, mostly due to length, and that it was in more of a complete stage. Now, there are no guarantees it will be accepted, but we’ll see….
Why write? Well it keeps me out of mischief for a start! But also sometimes one thing leads to another. I’ve written stuff which has led to other things in the past, so it’s a way of getting your name out there. I also do enjoy to write, just academic writing is not the most enjoyable method.
In addition to these, I’ve also been trying to plan lessons – my first couple of weeks, anyway. My timetable is like this. I work on a Tuesday and a Friday. I have six classes in total. I teach one class 8:00-8:50, then have a ten minute break, then teach the same class 9:00-9:50. Then I teach a different class at 10:00-10:50 and then teach that same class 11:00-11:50. Then I have a lunch break between 11:50-14:00. At 14:00 I have my third class of the day, finishing at 14:50, before another break and then the same class 15:00-15:00 when my day is finished.