365 days later

Me at the LSBU Induction Boat Trip in September 2017. I was very pleased with my ‘Staff’ Lanyard!

Today is one full year since I took up my new post as Lecturer in History at London South Bank University

This year has gone by very quickly!

It has been a year of hard work. Mentors had advised me that the first year of a lectureship was tough and I can now wholeheartedly agree with them!

I have had the added task of launching a new BA (Hons) History degree in my first year.

This means I have some achievements that I can feel quite positive about in my first year. I designed and delivered three brand new modules. I learned quickly about being a Course Director and the workings of a new institution by taking on such a big admin role from day one. I supervised dissertations and got involved in postgraduate provision. I am proud to see the progress many of the students have made this year and I can feel good about my role in that. I brought in money. I still managed to present a paper at a big conference in my field.

However, what has really made this a transformative year in my life is that it has also coincided with me becoming a carer. After nearly two years of unexplained symptoms, dozens of appointments at hospitals and doctors, and a raft of diagnostic tests, my partner has been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/ Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) (the terminology is contested, choose your term). This precipitated a complicated and stressful house move while marking finals and dissertations. I think that being a carer and academic deserves a blog post of its own but I think it is fair to say that my life looks very different to the one I had just over a year ago ago!

I am here 365 days later at the dining table in my new house surrounded by boxes still to be unpacked, writing next year’s key dates into my new academic diary. I am looking ahead to a much-needed holiday and beyond that to the new semester and academic year. This post serves to say ‘I did it!’ And to mark the transition into what will hopefully be a year in which I can grow further into both of my new roles.

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