Tuesday, April 24, 2012

public holiday

Today Australia celebrates Anzac Day - a remembrance day for all who served and died in military operations. I think it's important to bring this topic to public attention and to make people aware that some of us do an incredible service for all the others - may we approve the specific operations or not. 
But I must honestly say that for me here it's "just" a public holiday. Maybe because I didn't grow up with a culture of war memorials and military parades or maybe just because its not my home country?
So what did I do on this public holiday?
  • I went running early in the morning to please my sporty-me, which has been pretty sleepy during the last months
  • I finally, FINALLY pressed the "submit" button for the publication I have been working on during the whole last year - YEAH!
  • I curled up in a big blanket in the sunshine behind the balcony windows, nicely sheltered from the strong winds, and read a book about the topic I have to teach in a few months, took a nap after the first chapter and then read a second one - while teenage neighbour tried to cope with her teenage life by listening to loud pop music
  • I had a good lunch and then curled up in my bed to have a long, way too long nap - which pleased the sleepy side of sporty-me, I guess...
  • And then I took a long walk - past my favourite Indian take away restaurant - mmmhhh 
  • The rest fo the day will certainly include some ice cream and some note taking about my teaching topic! 
Not too bad for a day off.

uni support - love it!

I just realized again how much effort my uni puts into supporting and "growing" its staff. Besides all the mandatory courses a new staff member has to attend, esp. about workplace safety stuff, there is a large variety of workshops offered, which are really well set up and I always take a bunch of new ideas back to my office. In my former uni we didn't have support like that and if there actually was a workshop related to the topics a researcher is interested in, it was not well advertised, so that most likely you heard about it a few weeks after it was held. Here, you can't actually miss the announcements because your mailbox is swamped (in a positive way) with reminder emails.
Workshops are usually held for all disciplines in the university together and depending on topic for all levels of academic staff. So that besides attending a good lecture, you usually meet a lot of interesting people from other faculties, who sometimes have very different views on how to teach students good writing habits or how to structure your own research. And well established concepts from the business or the arts people (had a few very nice conversations with people from the School of Arts) can be very fresh for someone in my field.
A lot of my colleagues don't attend any workshops, because they think, they don't have time for that and they are too busy with their research, paper writing, student supervision, lecture preparation,.. to once in a while spare half a day for a workshop. Even though the topics of the workshops are about efficient writing and reading, being a supervisor, transferring research ideas into good projects,.... . Maybe some of them even think, they know all the tricks anyways and don't need fresh input.
But I think the uni does a great thing in providing these workshops and investing in the development of its academic staff. Thank you! Love it!