Monday, July 27, 2015

K+ Spotlight Programme

I'm teaching this week through The Brilliant Club, the charity that places PhD students in non-selective state schools around the UK to deliver university-style tutorials to students in order to raise aspirations and give them a taste of uni. But this week will be a bit different - I'm running the entire course, not as once-weekly sessions in a normal school routine, but as daily classes on a weeklong summer programme run through King's Widening Participation outreach. I'll have sixteen students spread over two tutorial groups. We start this morning with a campus challenge, sillily running about in a photography scavenger hunt. And then it's to work this afternoon, when my students will get an intro to my teaching style, the influence of journalism on society, and the Middle East. Fingers crossed that all shall go well and I haven't entirely forgotten my curriculum over all my summer travels!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

There's no place like home

I’m home! Not only am I in London, I’m actually going to be there for a walloping ten days.
Just pulled in from a lovely weekend in Scotland at The Burn, a retreat centre operated by Goodenough College, the postgraduate residential community where many central London Scholars live. The Marshalls go each year for some time all together before people whose scholarship tenure is ending fly away. We frolic about castles, romp a ceilidh (traditional Scottish group dancing), and play croquet – a *lot* of croquet. (Seriously. They would not stop playing croquet. They played by the light of their cell phones until 1am or so.
Greg and I went straight from our week in Lisbon to Scotland, with a lovely night interval at Heathrow Airport en route. I was very happy to be somewhere quiet for a few days – and it was incredibly rejuvenating to be back in Scotland. I am now very much ready to be home, though, and back to writing. I got a ton of really helpful ideas and brainstorms during my week of summer school on participatory methods, so the next few days shall be delightfully spent very quietly (the kid and his parents are traveling, so it really will be quiet) writing away. Next week, I’m teaching a summer programme at King’s, a revised version of my Brilliant Club course on “Does the Telly Lie? Media and the Middle East”. Hopefully a grand time will be had by all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lisbon Tourism

I'm in Portugal for the first time, attending a summer school (intense short course for researchers) on participatory methods. Conveniently enough, Greg has a close colleague in the city, so he came along for the week and is working with João while I'm in class.
We came in a few days early and saw some pretty things, though...including an awesome aquarium and Sintra, a community about an hour from the capital with a glorious castle, multiple palaces, and some fabulous gardens. There may also have been a wee detour to the beach.

My class includes students and teachers from Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Austria, Poland, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. I'm the only native English speaker in the room. It's really quite, quite cool. And I'm even learning something. ;)

Au revoir, Paris!

**This post got stuck in my outbox...publication intended last Monday 6 July!

What a weekend! Went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, cruised along the Seine on a restaurant boat, day tripped to Versailles, took Effy to Disney for the first time, and wandered the Louvre. All in all, a most excellent weekend - especially since it came with the added bonus of seeing both Bailey and Chris, undergrad roommates, together for the first time in years!

Happily back in London now, though, and ready to stay at home for four whole days before Greg and I take off for Lisbon. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Au revoir, London!

And Bonjour, Paris!

Gregory and I are off on an early morning expedition to London Luton for a 6am flight to Paris for the weekend. We'll be meeting up with our cousin, two of my roommates from undergrad, and one of their older sisters. Sightseeing, Disney, and Versailles to commence shortly!! In the meantime...hello, beautiful London morning.