Category Archives: Teaching

In which summers shrink

Academics talk nostalgically about rosy-tinted times of yore when summers meant a lull in lecturing duties. The months would unfold before you, a vast landscape of research possibilities. It was a time to write papers, craft grants, catch up with … Continue reading

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In which we venture out

We are poised on the edge. As the world teeters between spring and summer, cloaked in lush green and bursting into flower, there is a sense that our pandemic lockdown is coming to an end. Not all at once, of … Continue reading

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In which we home-school science: introducing #HomeSci, a social media experiment

From this coming Monday in the United Kingdom, all schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that many parents will be working from home and looking after their children at the same time. And not just looking … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Joshua, Research, Scientific method, Teaching | 1 Comment

In which I assess

It’s that time of year – piles of booklets appearing on my desk faster than I can clear them out. Baffling handwriting, detailed rubrics, Excel spreadsheets, moderation sessions, similarity scores, pens of many different colored inks. Short answer questions, dissertations, … Continue reading

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In which we find out how

Science in your pyjamas: bliss What’s the youngest a person can be exposed to science in a meaningful way? Loyal readers will know that I’ve pondered this question before, especially since becoming a mother. The other day a colleague told … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Joshua, Scientific thinking, Students, Teaching | 1 Comment

In which age is no impediment to scientific discourse

Joshua has had quite a few vaccinations in his four-and-a-half years – the usual routine inoculations for standard childhood illnesses and a couple (chicken pox and meningitis B) that are not on the NHS menu. The last time I took … Continue reading

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In which life slips past

Time is passing. My baby son has somehow turned four years old, and a very significant birthday approaches in a month’s time for me as well. The seasons are changing. We’ve stopped watering the withered tomato vines, seen the last … Continue reading

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In which we ride the imposter rollercoaster – again

We often think of our personalities and tendencies as being immutable, fixed, typical. But the older I get, the better I know myself. And what I know is that I’m often no more in control of my perceptions of self … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Research, Staring into the abyss, Teaching, The profession of science | 5 Comments

In which we experiment

My three-year-old son Joshua is a bright and curious boy, full of incessant questions and always wanting to get into everything. The other day he noticed that when he was sucking up juice with a straw, the level of liquid … Continue reading

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In which the calm cowers before the storm

Can you hear it? Yes, that’s the sound of a distinct lack of undergraduates knocking around the place. Even the summer lab students have departed, off for a few weeks of R&R or debauchery before the grind kicks back in … Continue reading

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