Tuesday, 15 December 2015

2015 - the year that was

Photo by Jake Givens | unsplash.com
The end of the year can make people retrospective and reflective. They ponder to themselves - and anyone around them - 'where has the year gone, and what on earth did we do with it?'.

The RED team is no exception. This has been a big year for us - here are a few reasons why:
  • It's the first year of the Graduate Research School's existence, and our relocation to the refurbished John Scott Meeting House; 
  • our research education and development sessions over the last year have involved almost 700 researchers across all campuses, from first year higher degree students to professorial staff; and 
  • we've run many types of sessions for the first time and received excellent feedback - and heaps of enthusiasm! - about future offerings and developments. 
I asked my RED team colleagues what their 2015 highlights are, and here's what they said!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

“Have you had anyone cry on you?” Difficult lives and difficult stories (Miranda Francis)

Earlier this year, Melbourne novelist Steven Carroll spoke at a La Trobe University seminar on how to creatively write about the past.

He suggested writers are always present in their writing and that the best writing involves passion.

Perhaps the same is true of interviewing?

I have spent the first few months of my research carefully not doing this.

I have struggled to keep myself out of interviews, to keep an emotional distance and, most importantly, to not talk about my children. This is relevant as I am researching parenting. 

A recent emotionally difficult experience has prompted me to question this approach.

This post is an attempt to understand where I fit as an interviewer and as a researcher within my research project.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

#LTUacwrimo 2015! (Tseen Khoo)

Well, what a month November was!

In this post, I'm meant to capture the doings and feelings of La Trobe's 2015 Academic Writing Month within a limited word count.

Let me say this as an experienced blogger: it's hard! There was so much going on.

Just to give you an idea of what we got up to during the past four weeks, our #LTUacwrimo program included:

  • 1 x accountability spreadsheet 
  • 18 x 'Shut up and write' sessions (with one pop-up session in collaboration with the La Trobe Melbourne Co-op Bookshop, and a special SUAW session still to come in Albury-Wodonga on 2 Dec)
  • 2 x writing retreats across two campuses (Melbourne and Franklin Street) in which over 50 people participated overall
  • 2 x guest workshop presenters, with sessions in Melbourne and Bendigo
  • 3 x opportunities for everyone to win prizes
  • 2 x tweetchats, and 
  • 1 x free morning tea, courtesy of the La Trobe Student Union.

One of the key elements of Academic Writing Month is the accountability spreadsheet where participants declare their writing goals for November, and log their progress as the days roll on.

It's fascinating to see how your colleagues are progressing with their writing, and to see the manifestation of obstacles and boosts.