Making work for future historians

This week, on Monday 12th May, I took part in the annual Mass Observation Day, when people are called upon to record everything they did during the day.  I did it last year, but, being a Sunday, I didn’t really have much to report - I only left the house to go to Tesco!  This year’s was a lot more involved, so I’m going to write about my experience of being a Mass Observer for the day.

Making work for future historians →

PhD: Expectations vs Reality

To sum up this week, I’ve read a load more positive/balanced articles about only children, transcribed an interview with one nasty only child and one nice one, discussed my next board with my supervisor which will hopefully be in mid-June (have you ever tried to find a date and time where three academics are free?  It’s painful) and been shopping because in a couple of weeks I have an informal interview for a little job - nothing substantive to write about for a blog, in other words.  So, as I’m feeling reflective, I thought I’d write about how PhD has measured up to my expectations so far.  Hoping it might be of use to anyone who’s applied for/thinking of applying for a PhD and wants to know more about it.

PhD: Expectations vs Reality →

A Blog About Blogging

‘Is blogging academic?’ (or ‘is blogging scholarship?’, which I regard as amounting to the same question) is a question that’s popped up on my Twitter timeline a lot recently, as a panel at the Organization of American Historians grappled with it this week.  There are, naturally, a few blog posts out there already on the topic, but I thought that, with some reference to them, I’d like to add to the debate.  It’s seems like a good time to write such a post, seeing as I’ve been blogging regularly for four months now, and my last blog post got an amazingly high number of views (this will probably get considerably fewer, but never mind).

A Blog About Blogging →

Some Thoughts About Teaching

Applications to be a GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant, not Grand Theft Auto) are coming up, and I’ve had to throw an academic CV together and think about my application letter.  For a long time, having felt I was irredeemably hopeless at public speaking and too socially awkward to function in normal society, I saw teaching as a ‘necessary evil’ I would have to put up with if I wanted to research and write, but a chance opportunity has made me think that actually, I might be alright at teaching and enjoy it after all.

Some Thoughts About Teaching →

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Mass Observation Observations

For the past three weeks, I’ve been diligently reading through Mass Observation Records - namely the 1944 Family Survey, where Mass Observers went round people’s houses and asked them about their family size and feelings about the future (and sometimes judged how attractive the mothers were and how clean and fat/thin the children were!) and the 1949 ‘Ideal Family’ Survey, which was sent out to panel members by post and given out by doctors and asked people what their opinions on the ideal family size, sex balance and spacing, and why.  My online subscription runs out next Thursday, so it’s been my main focus as I’ve tried to read as much as I can while I can!  I thought I’d share here some of the things that really jumped out at me.

Mass Observation Observations →