06 December 2008

On reflection on reflection

Meta-reflection? I have been entertaining the idea of taking on a part-time "job". I have several sessional contracts, but there is very little continuity to them, so I applied for a fixed-term proportional post at another university; as I write I have no idea whether I shall be offered the post, or whether I shall take it if offered. That's not the point of the post; the point is an epiphany in the interview.

I knew that one standard question would be, "why do you want this job?" And my response would be, "To keep my hand in..." But later, working through the standard litany of questions, the panel came to; "What do you think your professional development needs are?" They qualified that at once by acknowledging that as a semi-retired academic, it was probably otiose to ask that of me, but unexpected as the question was, I had no doubt about the answer; "practise" [sic.]*

I found myself explaining with reference to this blog and how it has changed over the (few) years of posting. I'm not going to do the analysis—only recently have I bothered even to tag the posts— but clearly over the past year, since I stopped doing much teaching, they have changed. The post before or after this one (I'm not sure how it will turn out), is on photos of writers' rooms. Interesting, I think, but at one level simply padding—it's merely a second-hand link, and at another an instance of "mission drift". There's nothing about learning and teaching, and precious little reflection.

It doesn't of course "matter". At the last count only nine people had signed up to the RSS feed anyway! (Scroll down to the "Atom" link at the bottom of the right side-bar if you would like to join this exclusive club.) It's merely illustrative that reflection cannot exist in isolation...

*Oh dear, pedantry wins again! I did indeed mean "practise" with an "s", as short for "opportunity to practise".

1 comment:

  1. James Morris12:46 pm

    I subscribe to you through Outlook 2007. I'm not sure if this counts me as one of your 'fellowship' of 9 subscribers, but I just thought I'd let you know that you have regular readers!



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