I’ve come to think that it’s mostly graduate students & professors who have time and headspace to blog. Postdocs? We mostly just hustle. Words erupt from my fingers, thousands, thousands of words all over the keyboard and into papers and grants and emails and I don’t really feel like I own any of the words anymore. They’re all words for other people. I posted on Savage Minds the other day and I remembered the luxury of my own words, arranged in a way that pleases me. I’d like to do that more often.
So what does a postdoc hustle entail, if there is no time for blogging? In 2015 I travelled to Seattle, Colorado, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Qatar, Oman, San Francisco, Greece, Australia, New York, Scotland, and Germany. I gave one keynote, three invited lectures, organized a conference, organized two sessions, chaired other two sessions, and presented eight papers. I published four articles and have five more in press. I got three postdocs and turned down two of them. Oh and we moved house with two days notice.
After my dream-like EUROTAST Marie Curie came to a close, I started up a slightly strange dual position at the University of York, a Centre for Digital Heritage postdoc and teaching, and that’s where I am now.
So what has all that gotten me? It’s hard to tell. My CV is hell on wheels, I feel pretty good about that. I’m tied down with teaching these days, but that’s okay. The students at York are great, the classes are small, and you feel like you can make a significant impact with teaching. I’d like to cultivate a bit more quality with my academic writing, aim higher with more polished publications. After attending all of the conferences last year (SAA, CAA, EAA, SHA, TAG-NYC, I get tired just thinking about it) I’m attending none this year. I’m spending one day a week getting together a Pretty Big Grant for my avatars project, saying “no” to a lot of stuff (sorry, I feel bad) and trying to keep my original goal for archaeology in mind: doing great research with people I like and respect. That, and learning how to use Unity. dammit.
But no lectureship/professorship. Yet. I’ve been assured that I don’t want one, but I’m stubborn. We’ll see what 2016 brings. #lifegoals, right?
2 thoughts on “2015: Postdocs, New Jobs, Publications, and a Whole Lot of Travel”
Who assured you you didn’t want a lectureship!? Yes postdoc-ing is ‘better’ in that you have more flexibility and time to research, but then there’s also the looming spectre of unemployment, probably moving city/country every 2 years, and actually spending more time applying for jobs and self-marketing than on the actual postdoc. Sorry for rant, I used to get so down when people (with jobs) said I didn’t want a lectureship anyway etc etc. Leading on from that, I actually felt like I had more time to blog as a postdoc. I felt like I could justify it more in terms of showing off my wide range of skills etc, building an online presence for my work. I guess it’s a balance thing. Postdocs feel like a never ending CV building exercise, and you already have the amazing blog box ticked :) Fingers crossed for 2016 #beingstubbornclub
I know, right? A lot of digital archaeologists work freelance, and sadly then get characterized as mere technicians. I’d love to have more time to make things, but I want to make things based on my own archaeological research projects, not model ones for other people, so hence the struggle for academic legitimacy. Yeah, and getting this advice from people with jobs can be a bit frustrating.
Regarding blogging, I often get people that want me to blog for them, but they don’t really understand that it doesn’t work like that…I blog my research, you blog your own research. You know? But saying “no” as a postdoc…scary stuff.
Thanks, Lisa-Marie! Wish we’d had more time to catch up after your great talk. :)