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My PhD Summer

My PhD Summer

So it's really been a while since I last blogged here! I've been juggling quite a few different things the past few months. Between finishing up the second year of my PhD and wedding planning, blogging has fallen by the wayside a little but I have a bit of extra time at the moment so I thought I'd fill you in on what I've been up to with my second PhD summer!

Summertime in academia is always a bit of a strange time. In some ways its a bit of down-time, classes have finished and most of us get the chance to take a little break somewhere (we've postponed this until after the wedding this year and I'm definitely feeling a bit worse for wear for not getting away for a week or two!).

In other ways, it's an incredibly busy time. Conference season and research take up a huge amount of the summer months and if anything, I'm approaching September even more tired than I did May!

I've been incredibly fortunate this summer to have the chance to spend a month researching in St Andrews for my chapter on young readers at the university there. You can read more about what I got up to here. This trip culminated in a talk and Q&A which was both the longest I've had the floor and probably one of the bigger audiences I've presented to (it was also filmed so there was that added pressure!). My time there was really productive and thought-provoking though and I met a lot of very helpful, kind people. My PhD is definitely much better for it!

I was also away for two international conferences, the ISECS early-career seminar in Sofia, Bulgaria and the BSECS postgraduate conference in Barcelona, Spain. These were back-to-back, with me flying straight from Sofia to Barcelona, and my papers were on two completely different parts of my PhD; the Royal High School in Edinburgh and Innerpeffray Library in Perthshire.

However, having now presented this summer on each of my three case studies I've definitely found myself with a better handle on the argument as a whole and with a renewed enthusiasm going into my final, writing-up year. But I am also looking forward to a holiday in October!

What have you been doing with your academic summer?

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