So, my very first blog post.
I thought it may be useful to to start by explaining a little more about me and why I have decided to embark on a mini blog adventure.
I am a pure academic, in the sense that I have no industry experience. Whilst I have completed placements and internships and the like during my degrees, as well as conducting field based research, I have done little more than spend the last 20-something years rolling through the education system. Was this my plan? Absolutely not. Never ever. Do I regret it? Very occasionally, but then I remember how unbelievably lucky I am and how much I love my job. But that is another post for another time.
Currently I am a lecturer in criminology at a UK based university. I primarily teach undergraduates studying a range of criminology based courses, and as such my teaching is quite varied (more about that in a minute). However I am also studying for my PhD part time, so juggling the two is quite interesting! My PhD is centred around policing, an interest stemmed from wanting to be a police officer since I gawped open mouthed at that episode of The Bill where they raided a building by abseiling off the roof. I must have been about 10. Sadly, since then, I have had to accept the fact this isn’t quite reality. It took a few glasses of wine to get over that one.
So, why have I decided to write this blog and what can you expect? Well, there are a few reasons, and as I like organisation so much I will go for a nice list.
- I really need to get back into writing. I have spent a good few years critiquing the writing of others (students and fellow academics) and somehow done very little of my own. This seemed like a nice starting point!
- Whilst I cover a lot of subjects in my teaching, there is often little opportunity to really get to the heart of an issue. Where this does happen, my usually fantastic students take the lead and dazzle me with their (sometimes misguided, but always interesting) insights. Many conversations often take place with colleagues, but these are usually over coffee and overruled by the need to discuss marking, teaching, and marking. I am hoping this will be an opportunity to further explore topics that I don’t get to cover in my teaching, or reflect on those that I do.
- The more I progress in academia, both personally and professionally, the more confident I am becoming with regards to my own ideas (rest assured this is the only area in which my confidence may be lacking, otherwise I would be a little screwed with 300 bleary eyed 18 year old’s glaring at me, expecting for knowledge to be magically imparted). Therefore I see this as my opportunity to respond to what I have heard, read or seen, and transmit my opinions on all that is going on in the world of crime.
- And finally, the world of academia can be a scary and challenging one. Particularly for someone with no industry experience. Even more so for someone who is often younger than the students they are teaching (half of the postgraduate students I am currently supervising are old enough to be a parent…). And, unfortunately, for women. Therefore don’t be surprised if issues more broadly relating to academia and equality start to appear, either as a collective or as mutually exclusive topics for discussion.
So I hope that I haven’t completely lost you (whoever you may be) in the introduction, and that the reasons for this emerging are a little clearer.
Now, onto my first post…