It's been one of those weeks very full of many smaller things, like a mosaic. When I was programme leader, I rarely found myself at the end of the line in any process, though I had the good fortune to be at the start of several really exciting lines, such as the launch of a new intake (and there will be a new intake launching next Monday, so I'm really looking forward that). Now, as Director of Studies, it is often me that sits at the ends of lines. Some of these, too, are decidedly pleasant, such as the Graduation ceremony I have written about in another entry. Others are intriguing and challenging in a good way, such as creating the budgets for the forthcoming year, or reviewing case studies for future exams. Yet others are altogether more daunting, such as having to decide on tricky appeal cases, comment on even trickier plagiarism files, or (the worst) sign letters informing programme members that they have failed the course.
Thankfully, these are few and far between, but they are impactful nevertheless, both on me and the ones on the receiving end. This is all new territory for me, but is as much part of the function as the input on academic content, the recruitment of new members and myriad other day-to-day functions. So there are good days and bad days.
This morning I was able to attend the first session of a workshop on how to go about getting published in an academic journal. It was pretty useful and I understand a little better how it works, so the end result (a published paper in a reputable journal) no longer seems like a ridiculous idea. I have been developing and discussing some ideas around my PhD and it is taking some kind of shape, I think. Still a lot to do, though.