I have finished one week of Induction and Week One of the course and I’m lying on the floor weeping with exhaustion. Well… I managed to scrape myself up from the floor so I could write this blog post, obviously. But seriously, I am absolutely shattered.

Why?

  1. I’m a 50 year old menopausal woman (I could probably stop there to be fair)!
  2. The University of Oxford has it’s own language dontchaknow; subfusc, matriculation, Hilary, battels, Michaelmas, Trinity, Bod Card, Noughth Week.
  3. I am part of (a) Social Sciences Division in (b) The University of Oxford in the Research Centre known as the (c) Rees Centre within the (d) Department of Education and at (e) Wolfson College. All with their own courses, events, people and procedures. Induction week was interesting!
  4. It is a full time doctorate. FULL TIME! That means meetings, lectures, reading, pre recorded videos, presentations, student connections and endless thinking.
  5. I’m determined (as is the bank and those who depend on me) that I continue to do some of my work, albeit a little less.

All of that said, considering we’re in the middle of a Pandemic, absolutely everyone has been amazing. The lecturers have worked hard at being inclusive while managing a small group in the classroom and another group online, while wearing a mask throughout and making sure everyone gets to contribute. I metaphorically got virtually lost many buildings and I could quickly find someone to help me. All of these things make a difference and creating a sense of belonging for so many people virtually is quite an achievement!

It feels completely right and proper to acknowledge Kyra in the Education Department who has a calmness and gentleness along with being the font of all knowledge that has kept me from weeping daily rather than just on a Thursday. Kyra is a reminder about what we all need when we feel overwhelmed, stretched, lost and in a (virtual) new collection of buildings. It is therefore a reminder that if as an adult I need that, then it is interesting for people to reflect upon why it might be so difficult for people to see that children need that too (more)? I’ll leave that with you… I have a session to deliver and academic articles that I don’t understand to read 😉

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