Are we sitting comfortably? Let’s begin.

3 reasons to go to an academic conference:

  1. A change is as good as a rest. There is something genuinely refreshing about being in a new place, with new people, hearing new things about your discipline – or other people’s disciplines.
  2. You’ll be a better teacher for it. Or lecturer. Or pedagogue. (Delete as you wish). Immersing oneself in the ideas of others is – my intuition tells me – a great way to take back new and better ways of doing things to your own institution.
  3. You might just meet the one. No. I don’t mean the one. I mean that other academic who wants to do research that you also want to do, but is struggling alone, just as you are – doing it together might just be a way to make it actually happen. Collaboration, people – it is the way of things.

As I type, I am living proof of the above. I am in a city I haven’t been to for 25 years (when I came for a University interview, ironically enough) and even before the conference I am attending has started, I’ve met some great people. Their fields don’t much overlap with mine, and their working and studying contexts are also very different, and that is thoroughly refreshing. For the next two days together we are going to listen to a tonne of interesting people speaking with passion about their pedagogical work in institutions up and down the country. I’m going to do my best to give the twitterverse and the blogosphere a flavour of their ideas. Bring it on, good people, bring it on.

You can follow what I am up to by popping back here tomorrow, and by following me on twitter @leoarnawrites, or using the hashtag #HEASocSci15.

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