Loughborough University

Creating support for change

By |February 7th, 2015|Asexuality updates|0 Comments

Yesterday I visited Loughborough to attend an LGBT staff group meeting. I’d been in touch because I was a little frustrated that they said they welcomed members that were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender as identified in the Equality Act 2010. To their credit, they immediately changed their group name to the LGBT+ staff group.

It was particularly reassuring how seriously this group is being taken, with the Vice Chancellor attending the meeting and taking an interest in the issues that had been discussed. For my part, I introduced myself and stated why it was important for me to join.

I said that asexuality is known as the “invisible orientation”. We don’t generally make a fuss and keep ourselves to ourselves. While that works most of the time, it also means that we’re overlooked for things like the Equality Act and leave ourselves open to abuse and ignorance in general. If we’re to bring about change, we have to engage with those that can help us and find common ground.

I’m quite pleased I joined. They were a friendly and welcoming group and there is an intent to embrace more members and to raise awareness. We can help each other out in that regard.

Innocent Eyes

By |January 19th, 2015|Essays|0 Comments

The past few days have put me in a reflective mood. I do that from time to time. I can’t help it. But a few things made me look back.

I visited an old blog of mine, which had posts that I made from as far back as 2006, when I was in the middle of my undergraduate studies. Of course, like any 21 year old, I posted one heck of a lot of rubbish, but there were some things that I wrote that chimed a little.

I was, and still am, really quite introverted and much of my creativity never leaves the cells that comprise my frame. Nonetheless, I did share a thing or two, so I’ve incorporated these posts on my site and I’m in the process of sorting them.

After talking with a cherished friend, I found myself in a reflective mood. In particular, I was reminded of the songs I used to listen to in my teenage years, which are somewhat embarrassing but I listened to again. Think Avril Lavigne, Delta Goodrem, Backstreet Boys, Dido, Texas, Wet Wet Wet, Hot Chocolate, Hanson… I was never the cool kid!

You might be laughing but, in a way, so was I. It reminded me of a time when I knew I was happy. I wasn’t free of troubles, but I didn’t want things to change. Of course, things do. School ended, university began.

I didn’t find undergraduate study particularly enjoyable. There were aspects of it that I relished, but I never really got to explore myself and who I am. My PGCE study was good in the sense that I spent it with good people and I grew to learn about myself a little more; but the stress of teacher training and effectively failing pretty much ruined it.

My time in Loughborough (which is still going, by the way!) was broadly great. There are (and were!) some amazingly lovely and wonderful people. Inspiring, even. But depression killed the opportunity to enjoy it to its potential. Everything was there for me to fly and flourish, but ultimately my brain was my greatest asset and worst enemy. I couldn’t have had one without the other, I suppose.

Now I’ve found myself in Oxford. So far, things are going well enough. I’m continuing the things I enjoyed with my PhD studies (albeit without the people on such a regular basis) and working on further projects that stimulate me and invoke my interests.

Perhaps now that I know myself a little better, particularly for having had my recent journey through depression, I can rebuild that feeling of contentment that had long since eluded me.

Science Matters 2012 Conference

By |March 22nd, 2012|Recent news|0 Comments

The inaugural Science Matters conference took place yesterday at Loughborough University. Its aim was to bring together the six departments in the recently formed “School of Science” in one place to talk about research.

We had some excellent keynote speakers, two careers workshops, a keenly contested poster competition and a vibrant group of participants in a discussion group at the end of the day.

Having been a member of the organising committee, I am quite relieved it is over in some ways! However, I was able to enjoy the day and I am quite proud for the small group of dedicated individuals from different departments that it passed over with few problems!

Loughborough University Research Conference 2012

By |March 7th, 2012|Recent news|0 Comments

I entered the poster competition, but unfortunately did not win any prizes. A few people (mainly judges) asked a little more about my project, which helps, but it’s a shame more didn’t.

I did enjoy the talk given by Professor Sir Michael Brady, however. He spoke of barriers that exist only in the mind in response to a question that referred to the borders between departments and disciplines. It made me think more about what my research might lead to.

Photo from ucisa.ac.uk

Join us at the MEC

By |October 15th, 2011|Recent news|0 Comments

For further details in the original advertisement, visit the Mathematics Education Centre website or view the profile on the jobs.ac.uk website.

There are many reasons why you might want to study on a PhD programme in the MEC. You might want to develop your research skills set. You could be inclined to spend a time of your life doing something that will ultimately make a difference in improving mathematics learning, teaching, recruitment and engagement or helping students with low confidence in mathematics. You may be persuaded to work in an internationally celebrated institution with leading figures in mathematics education.

You might also want to work with us in our friendly office. You are welcome to join our lunch club, with daily trips to one of the eating establishments on campus; you can join the tea/coffee club; and you could join the MEC Warriors – the incredible Thursday night pub quiz team.

Best of luck should you apply. Feel free to ask me about PhD life at the Mathematics Education Centre!

Trust Me

By |October 6th, 2010|Quick thoughts|0 Comments

Seems I’m on the move again. Awaiting confirmation, I’ve been accepted to study for a PhD at Loughborough University in Mathematics Education. I should be starting in December.

It’s really quite exciting but also rather scary. It’s allowing me to continue in maths education but it is pretty much an entirely new beginning. It closes a chapter at Keele, but perhaps doesn’t end the story; and opens a new one, which surely won’t be the last!