going round in circles and stripes

oh what has happened to my life! i feel dizzy just thinking about it. the past month has seen me seriously distracted firstly by work (yes i know, what an annoying PEST that is!). but i managed to meet my deadline and produced a 55 page report on my major project for the senior deputy vice chancellor:

the implications of this project for the uni are massive. its a project outside of my own research interests, which have taken a bit of a back seat, but its potentially a career changing project. we have a meeting on thursday afternoon with said SDVC to get his feedback and will know more then about how much bigger its going to get and what my role will be. im in two minds, but open to where it takes me. life is too short, too unpredictable, to try and hang on to narrow ideas of what i thought i would be doing post phd. i have 3 vastly different projects running, this one which is on academic policy, the other big on on alcohol and young people, and a third in development on the use of history in health science curriculums. its interesting trying to keep my head in those three different spaces.  now that the policy one is nearly done, perhaps i can return to the others. although i really just feel like having a long lie down.

ive been really excessively tired lately, partly from work and the brain drain, but also from the emotional drain of starting a new relationship. oh the things we do to ourselves in the pursuit of ‘happiness’! i’ll spare you the details but its been an interesting journey, and i’ve learnt a lot about myself, my values, what i want, what i dont. again, its exhausting juggling the different voices in my head. the jury is still out on where its all going, and i dont feel any rush to hear a verdict right now, so thats growth for me at least! there has been some travelling involved, as the culprit lives about 3 hours north. i organised a little weekend away at a place ive visited once before, catherine hill bay.

this is a kind of special place for me, i came here in 1996 to direct a film i’d written for film school. it was called ‘sinking’, it was set all to music, and it was, unfortunately, never finished. but it did involve surfing and someone dying, so of course, like other great “surfing and someone dying” movies before it, it had to be filmed here. look at that pier:

what a backdrop. i had a memory that the pier had been longer than that, and indeed, a picture inside the house indicated that at least a section of it got washed away in the recent big weather up there.

it rained all weekend, and we didnt see much of the little village beyond the house and street

and i didnt get much knitting done either, but im hoping to remedy that in the next few weeks as i scale down the travelling and try and get life back on an even keel. the lovely miss fee gave me some of this lovely silk/wool holst garn for my birthday

and it immediately yelled ‘ different lines’ to me. i ordered two more balls from the extremely efficient suzy hausfrau just so i’d have enough to make a really big one, and cast on immediately. i know ive made the stripe study in colours very similar to this, but they’re colours i wear, and this time ive made the black the main colour instead of the red.

i love this mindless garter stitch short row knitting, although i did manage to screw it up recently and had to rip it. yes, i screwed up garter stitch. at least i can read sock charts. hmmm hermione?

i have also started new nancy bush socks, a second (or is it third?) attempt at unst

in lovely koigu i picked up at calico and ivy in perth.

my plan is that these will be part of the What Would Nancy Do? thread on the Southern Summer of Socks group on Ravelry. Wheels are in motion to get the group up and running again, including prizes in all sorts of categories.

and in the meantime, i’d better go catch up with everyone elses blogs. and take a long deep breath!

k xx

About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

13 responses to “going round in circles and stripes

  • M-H

    I think you’re on the right track with your work. You need to be strategic about what you do – I think lots of early career academics miss this memo and get bogged down in their doctoral work, and that may not really help their career. It sounds as if you are keeping your options open, which is really good for a young academic. There is so much work that could be done!

  • RoseRed

    Love your different lines.

    And yes, look at that pier! Wow, I had no idea.

    I’m a bit concerned I am losing my sock mojo. Hopefully SSoS will bring it back!

  • Ailsa

    That town looks wonderful, and I had no idea about that place. I loved hearng about it.

    look at those tomatoes! The summer of bruschetta may reign again in 2011 methinks.

    i am almost not knitting atm. it’s unheard of, and i don’t like it one bit.

  • gidgetknits

    I bet those tomatoes help the socks grow! I’m not sure how it’d work, but I’m positive of it. And who doesn’t need lots of shawls? Good things in your life!

  • donna lee

    You have been a whirlwind. I’m crossing my fingers that the academic/job opportunity turns out to be something so fascinating that your hears sings YES!

    I love the look of the lonely pier there in the water.

  • Sarah

    Oh that beach – so beautiful. Sounds like it’s been an interesting time! Never a bad thing 🙂

  • LynS

    It’s taken me a while to respond to this post as I needed to think about it. I didn’t need to think about the knitting bits which are classic patterns in wonderful yarns, or about the hauntingly atmospheric photographs of Catherine Hill Bay. But I did need to think about the work and research bits.

    I think you’re at a really interesting stage in your career, that’s also a bit hard. Working in policy areas – whether it’s on academic policy or applying research to ‘real world’ problems such as your riskiness research can be very fulfilling. At its best, you actually get to see outcomes from your work that have demonstrable impact. I think it’s a form of academic work that’s currently greatly undervalued.

    Taking a more conventional (or maybe ‘traditional’) academic path of innovative investigation in your area of specialisation and writing for big name journals is (perhaps regrettably) still more likely to lead to longer term academic success and be valued by Go8 type universities. I wish this wasn’t so. Anyway, for PhDs in the humanities there are so few mainstream academic positions that this path is not achievable if you want to eat and knit as well.

    It’s great that a number of opportunities are presenting themselves – clearly people are valuing your work and contributions. I’ll watch with interest to see how things develop and wish you wisdom to make good choices.

    • drkknits

      this is exactly the dilemma i’ve had lyn. the traditional path is a very difficult one, as you say, and i think its very much about being young and hungry and not having anything else in your life. i think im a bit past that, in terms of where im at in the rest of my life, and really wanting to maintain some balance and sanity. im very lucky to have found a champion who is willing to support me to break down the usual barriers about what being an ‘academic’ means. as you and MH say, there is so much important work to do, and most of it doesnt appear in ranked journals! very interesting days ahead, thats for sure!

      • M-H

        There are journals that publish about policy in Higher Ed, and at least one of them is quite highly ranked (eg Studies in Higher Ed, Journal of Higher Ed, Journal of Higher Ed Policy and Management, Higher Education Research and Development; Higher Education Policy and Managment). Publishing can be less of a burden if you think about it whenever you are doing something (Who would be interested in this? What would they find interesting?) There’s so little good stuff published that there should be plenty of ‘gaps in the market’. Being an ‘academic’ means making your own career, at whatever you enjoy doing.

  • 1funkyknitwit

    Your SS shawl and socks both look lovely but expected as you do make good choices in your knits. I’ll join the sock group because I’ve nearly finished two more pairs of socks and I’m thinking I’m ready for Nancy now, plus it sounds like fun for 2012. I just have to pick a pattern .)
    I wish you well with all the other stuff. Your a smart woman Kylie I hope you find the balance your wanting 🙂

  • Emma

    Wow, busy times! Sounds like you’re making a good strategic move at work. I’m not in academia, but I’m starting to see how bad moves (i.e. not acting strategically) are affecting me now as I try to move away from my current job.

    Your socks and shawl are looking great, as is your tomato plant. Looks like you’ll be getting a good crop!

  • 2paw

    Your work path options sound like excellent opportunities are presenting themselves. I am sure whatever you decide will be the right path!! Lovely knitting you have so may nice things on the go. I, too, can mess up garter stitch!!

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