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Showing posts from June, 2014

PhD first year formal review: some thoughts

So, yesterday I had my first year formal review. I’m no stranger to review processes and have both undergone and hosted quite a few while I was working in retail management. Unlike many, I actually see them as a good opportunity and valuable milestone in gauging progress, success and areas for improvement. What I did find strange, however, is having the review conducted by employees that I either knew only slightly or by reputation only. And going into the review fairly blind as to what it would entail. To be honest I think the review panel chair himself was expecting a different format to that which we held. In my case by supervisor, for whom I have a lot of respect (no supervisor horror stories from me I’m afraid), made himself available but was instructed to remain silent for the duration, whereas this was not the case for other PhD research students that I know both in the department and other institutions. The internal marker, who controlled effectively controlled the progress of…

A chance meeting at Caerwent (Venta Silurum)

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Recently, wanting some information about the Roman administrative centre cum Welsh village of Caerwent, and being a dutiful academic, I naturally turned to Wikipedia. Don't fret, it was to see how much information was up there as a learning resource for some school pupils I'm going to be giving a talk to with the SHARE with Schools outreach project. It's a short wiki, though mercifully beyond stub-level, that could benefit from expansion. However, there is a image on the page that caught my attention. It's below the fold (i.e. out of the screenshot above).

This is the image:


That's not snow, its a near infrared shot and so the verdant grass appears white. You've probably also already noticed that it's an aerial photograph; some sections of that wall running from bottom-centre to top-right are over 5 metres tall and feel distinctly more looming from the ground.

Now this rang a bell. I flicked over into my photo directory and quickly located the file of my l…

SHARE with Schools outreach return visits

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Last week the outreach project on which I'm a Postgraduate Coordinator hosted three return visits. These are one-day events where pupils that we have previously seen in their schools come to the department for a range of activities.

I've posted about the return visits it at the SHARE with Schools site in a bit more depth with a couple of pictures. Also worth checking out is the link provided to Melissa Julian Jones's more detail account of formulating her Medieval history activity.

It was a tiring three days, lots if running up and down stairs to make sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. Special mention should go to PG Coordinator Cath Underwood-Horler for doing a fantastic job organising the days, especially in light of the chaotic effect of ongoing refurbishment in the John Percival (Humanities) Building, which led to room bookings being changed to inappropriate spaces or rooms lacking ceilings etc.

On the day, there were a couple of hiccups but nothi…