As today is my last day in work before the Christmas break and I wholeheartedly plan to do nothing over the holidays (including blogging), I thought I would end the year with a summary of what 2016 has meant to me.
2016 has been a rough year for everyone with Brexit, Trump, the refugee crisis, and much more leading to uncertainty, fear, and sadness. But, there have been highlights too, so here is my round up:
The start of the year began with me finishing my first placement as a graduate trainee on the Higher Education Management Scheme (@AmbitiousF - applications open to January 2017) and embarking on a 4-month secondment to University College London. This was a real highlight for me, as I had spent the past 5 years studying and working at the University of Oxford, and the opportunity to return to the place of my M.A. degree (and one of the best years of my life where I made lifelong friends - even if they are an ocean away).
The beginning of the year also marked the formal acceptance of my book proposal and the beginnings of the revisions to my thesis for publication in January 2017 with Routledge (The Making of Morals and Manners in Twelfth-Century England: The Book of the Civilised Man). This was important as it was a mark of my continued connection with academia. As a result of continuing to keep my foot in the academic door, I have presented at three conferences this year, and from that have two essays en route to publication over the forthcoming year.
Teaching was another highlight, as I taught a tutorial series on Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Europe for the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. And while teaching is always rewarding for me, working with American students during the end of the US election process brought home the anxiety and uncertainty my students face from a Trump presidency in 2017. Add to that the Brexit referendum, and the future is definitely unknown and definitely perilous.
2016 also saw my graduation from my doctorate, which was a wonderful occasion to celebrate with my family. This was shortly followed by the loss of my grandfather, an incredible and kind man whose outlook on life and people is one I will always keep with me.
And finally, 2016 saw me complete my graduate trainee scheme and accept a permanent job working in Student Welfare at the University of Oxford. I have written before about my desire to work in alternative academia, in roles which support the student body more broadly then just those students I have the opportunity to teach.
I am looking forward to what 2017 has to offer - while personally, it has been very good to me, politically is has been a disaster. 2017 can't be worse than 2016, right?