July and August 2021 round-up

July and August definitely had a taste of “wrapping and moving on”, for me. I wrapped up a long running writing project and started a new one; I wrapped up the academic year and prepared the new one; I wrapped up the divisional lead role and planned for the next stage; and so on and so forth. I was very ready for my holidays, when they finally came, later in August.

The holidays involved a lot of Covid-19 testing, hand sanitizing and awkward social interactions (people have very different expectations of how you will greet them, how much distance you should keep, and whether or not you will keep your face mask on), but it was all very much worth it. It was great to spend time with friends and family, and top-up my stock of vitamin D.

On the research front, I signed up for Academic Twitter, so that I can collect my own datasets of Twitter data rather than relying on others to do that for me. I also watched various training videos (hooray for YouTube!) and collected Twitter data for a project that I am working on. Conversely, I continued to struggle with securing interviews with hotel managers. So, my colleague Liyuan and I decided to change tactics. I also worked on a grant application idea, and have been exploring possible policy advisor roles.

On the writing front, I started working on a paper that I hope to submit at the end of November. I completed revisions on a paper that I had submitted earlier this year, and which came back with encouraging feedback. And I, finally, saw the publication of a paper that I had been working on for several years (and which I will blog about, soon). I also did two research presentations for a paper that I have been working on (one presentation for colleagues at Brunel; the other at Catholic University in Portugal). I strongly recommend presenting work-in-progress, because the questions that I received helped me see which aspects I need to clarify when I write it up vs. those that I can downplay. I also reviewed two papers (that someone else submitted to other journals, and the editors asked me to review).

On the teaching front, a big chunk of these two months has been taken with marking: first, the coursework for the MBA module that I had taught in June; then the resit coursework and exams that students submitted / undertook during the summer. Then, I had to prepare the materials for next term’s teaching, so that they can be scrutinised ahead of being released to students, as part of the institutional quality assurance process. I also scrutinised the teaching materials for a colleague’s module. And, as always, I held various dissertation supervision meetings, read drafts, and reviewed ethical application forms. Sadly, I also had to investigate various student misconduct cases.

On the admin / divisional lead front, I finalised workloads, and sent the information to timetabling. I also organised contracts for teaching support staff. And… I handed-over the role to my colleague Michael Heller, who will be heading the division from September 1st.

It was a good summer. I am now ready to embrace the new academic year. How was your summer?

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