Happy new year, folks! I hope you’ve had a very restful break and you’re pumped and ready to step once more onto the PhD carousel. I’m currently pepping myself up with a super strong coffee (rated SIX on the packet!) in order to face my inbox. Before I started this I considered writing a blog about new year PhD resolutions, but besides “do my PhD really well” and “finish it this year”, I don’t really have any sage advice for the turn of the calendar. Do feel free to suggest things below though; it’s always v. useful to hear about how everyone is innovating!
Instead I thought I’d talk briefly about the fact I’ll be teaching once term starts again. This will be my first experience of teaching, and even though it’s part of the reason I started a PhD in the first place, it’s still a wee bit nerve-wracking. I’ll be teaching English Literature to 2nd year undergrads, which is extra daunting because, although both my PhD and MSc in Creative Writing incorporate(d) elements of English Lit, my own undergrad was in English Language, where intimate tutorials weren’t really a thing.
BUT the texts on the syllabus are pretty great, which helps to serve one of my “real life” resolutions to read at least 50 books this year – I’ve owned Mrs Dalloway for roughly 100 years and never got around to reading it ’til now. And there’s plenty of poetry on there too, so fingers crossed I might actually be USEFUL to my students.
I suppose this is intended as an it’s-okay-to-feel-nervous-we-all-are, since I don’t really know how it’s all going to go. Actually that’s a lie, I DO know how it’s going to go, because I’m the one with the lesson plans. I imagine my style will be somewhere between that of Miss Jean Brodie and Professor McGonagall plus any other movie teacher played by Dame Maggie Smith. Previous PhD teachers I know have all said that teaching was their favourite part of the whole experience, so hopefully I’ll be able to come back to you in a couple of weeks and confirm that – watch this space!
Apologies for brevity here…I think that coffee was bigging itself up too much since I still feel like I’m cooking on tinsel instead of gas. I’ll be back in gear next Tuesday, for sure! And there are already some excellent guest blogs lined up for the new year, but as always if you’d like to write something about your experiences as a PhD researcher in Scotland please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the SGSAH on Twitter and Facebook.