Saturday, 11 September 2010

Beginning a new cycle

I am now starting my third year in Cambridge. I am thinking back to how I felt this time two years ago, confused, anxious, apprehensive, regretful, and I wonder how I managed it - but did I have a choice other than manage? I am pleased to state that today I feel confident, calm and satisfied. I have just run a very successful conference. A conference organiser isn't supposed to enjoy her own conference, just as a hostess is not supposed to enjoy her party; but I did. It was an excellent, possibly ground-breaking conference, although the latter only posterity can reveal. I am proud of having attended this conference. It's merely a coincidence that I organised it.

I also feel confident in the everyday routine. At this point, two years ago, I had still not realised that a paper was a course and that Tripos was the undergraduate program, not to mention all the mysterious PGCE, SMT, SCUG and MMG. Now I know that this term I am doing one lecture for PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education), that I will in due time be called to SMT (Senior Management Team), that I am the Chair of SCUG (Standing Committee for Undergraduate Degree), and that I am replacing Morag in MMG (Masters Management Group). I have just noticed that Cross-Route Moderation has been renamed Quality Assurance, but it cannot upset me anymore. I am keeping abreast with progress.

Since Morag is on study leave, I am doing a lot of things that she normally does: handbooks, readers, inductions, adjudications, pre-term team meetings and even the terrifying Examination Board - terrifiying because if you cannot attend you need to apply to VC (which I now know means Vice Chancellor). All this before term starts. Mind, I am still on vacation... ooops, I mean research period.

I am looking forward to the new term and the new academic year. I am looking forward to the new bunches of students who will discover the joys of picturebooks and adolescent novels, who will ask awkward questions and come up with wonderful insights. I am looking forward to supervisions and reading groups. I am looking forward to long fruitful  meetings with teaching teams, discussing why we do things in this way or that and why we do them at all. I am looking forward to the reward of receiving a good essay draft.

I know I am privileged. I love my work. 

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