Oxford Brookes University

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.

And so it may continue

By |January 6th, 2015|Recent news|0 Comments

Today I started my new job at Oxford Brookes University. I’m a postdoctoral pedagogic research assistant (though you can call me “Stephen”, for short). I will be working on a number of research projects that the department will be running.

I’ve also moved into Headington, Oxford. I’m told it’s quite a fancy place, so please excuse me if my tastes suddenly change towards things more refined (I’ve already had a debate on the virtues of Yorkshire Tea over Twinings!).

So far so good. I really enjoyed my first day. I’m having my photo taken for the departmental website tomorrow, so I shall have to endure a second day of overdressing.

Welcome to 2015!

By |January 1st, 2015|Recent news|0 Comments

Well, 2014 was quite a remarkable year in many ways, but I won’t look back so much. There were ups and downs, as everyone has. The year ended sadly, with the passing of my grandfather; but it also ended with being offered a job at Oxford Brookes University as a postdoctoral pedagogic research assistant. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to start!

So I’m hoping for positive change this year: a new life in Oxford; a better sharing of understanding of asexuality; transitioning from a 20-something to a 30; meeting new people.

I’ve made friends with so many lovely people over the past 12 months. I’d love to meet more of them this year.