When I was at school, I would always take home what I now realise was ‘optimistic homework’. Two text books, two binders, my pencil case, the novel we were reading in English, three notebooks, my diary, and my calculator. You know, just in case. It was lucky for me that large, surfing brand backpacks were cool when I was at high school, because mine was chock-a-block on the bus almost every day, full of tasks that I ‘might’, but generally didn’t, complete.
During my PhD, I did all of my work on a laptop. It was connected to a large monitor most days (I’m not a complete posture masochist) but again it meant that almost every night I would ride home with my Mac Book Pro on my back, full of intentions to work. Inevitably, I would then drag it back again the next day having not opened it at all.
My current work situation puts me in the blessed position of being able to walk to and from my office. I can come home for lunch, nip back if I’ve forgotten something, and walk a lovely 3km everyday. But finally, I am getting a bit smarter. I take a small bag, my diary, a bottle of water, and that’s it. Why? Because now I live in the cloud.Continue reading “The week in the cloud”
would will write if when Women of Letters invite me to pen a note to my favourite form of public transport:Continue reading “The week on the train”
Meetings are important. Particularly for student/supervisor and boss/employee communications, but also for any sort of team work, one face to face chat is generally worth a thousand emails. Some people have too many, and some people have enough, but I think we can all agree that across the board of professions out there, knowing how to attend a meeting is a fairly necessary skill.
So why is it that the meeting I attended last week was a display of some of the least professional behaviour I have ever seen? The attendees were professionals: scientists, managers, leaders and actual grown-up adults. And yet, the level of attention paid was similar at times to that of primary schools students. Email checking, texting, leaving the room frequently, having secondary conversations with other attendees, farting loudly… ok, maybe no loud farting, but everything else was definitely there.
This experience last week, and with other meetings over the past few years has led me now to present to you the SHITELLY factor, a function that I have just made up to quantify how badly some people behave at meetings. If your SHITELLY score crosses the SHITELLY threshold, then you are officially a Random Uninterested Distracted Employee who Doesn’t Understand Decent Etiquette. Yep, a RUDE DUDE.Continue reading “The week of the meeting”
There are many components of Catalan lifestyle that we are yet to understand. The different religious celebrations, the eating times, the language, the supermarket brands: there is still a lot that needs translating for us. But the language of exercise, I think, is universal.Continue reading “The week of yoga”
We are the watcher on the walls. We are the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men…for this night and all the nights to come.
OK, so I’m not Jon Snow (in that I’m not a bastard or disastrously handsome), and we are not waging war against white walkers. But in some respects, peer review is the last line of defence against bad science escaping into the world.Continue reading “The week I reviewed”
This week has been somewhat of a come down after three jam-packed weeks of visitors and weekends away. We have been so lucky to have many friends and family visit from Australia, and our little apartment and day-to-day lives seem a bit quiet and dull now that they have gone.
Quiet is not always bad. It’s nice to focus on the minutiae of life for a bit: making sure there is edible food in the house, finally cleaning some clothes, and getting stuck into bigger tasks at work. But it makes a stark contrast to the last few weeks of travelling and saying salut every night. I think we will feel somewhat lonely in the weeks to come, as autumn and winter slowly descend on the Ebro Valley.
Tortosa, in its special way, also managed to provide a lovely display of contrast this weekend, in the form of two little festivals (it’s been more than two weeks, right?!)
Continue reading “The week of contrasts”
There’s something magical about Barca. The narrow streets of the old town, the wide avenues of the Eixample district, the sunshine, the palm trees, the curved buildings, the people. Perhaps we are simply Melbourne folk, starved for urbanisation here in Tortosa, but every time I visit Catalonia’s capital I fall in love with it a little more.
Our mini-breaks to the big smoke generally take the same shape (although you can mix and match of course):
Continue reading “The week for a weekend in Barcelona”
It’s been five months since I started a young career researcher journal club at C3, to promote communication among each other, get some English practise and gain more experience in reading papers outside our normal fields of research. Time for an update!Continue reading “The week to check in on journal club”
“What?!”, I can hear you spluttering at your screen. “Another festival? Is she serious? Surely after Sant Jordi, Sant Joan, Benicàssim, the Three Kings and the Renaixement Festival that is enough, at least for a little while. Do some work for goodness sake!”
That’s what I thought too. And believe me, I am trying to work. But this week, this was a big one. Possibly the most important one for Tortosa, because it contained two important days: the celebration of their patron saint, and a Catalonia’s national day.Continue reading “The week of Festes de la Cinta”
Posters can be a really useful way of communicating your science to peers and the wider community. They can help you promote a recent publication or get feedback on a new project. They also force you to put some structure to your research, which can be really benificial for finding gaps or shaping ideas.
Continue reading “The week of the Absent Poster”