You find me midway through my second week of being a student again. A postgraduate student, I hasten to add – I don’t think I have the stamina to be an undergrad a second time around (that, and I didn’t really do a lot during my gap year, which is a real conversation killer as I seem to recall). My arrival in Nottingham – for that is where I am studying – was in fact near enough ten years to the day since my first foray into higher education (though I think this is not so much coincidence as the consequence of very similar Russell Group university academic timetables). What’s changed in that time? Well, the pub quiz questions are a damn sight harder but the songs they play at freshers nights are virtually the same as a decade ago. All in all, remarkably little.
I’ll stop now, before I relocate my rose-tinted specs and start thinking of things that were better in 2003 (you judge whether Girls Aloud playing at our Freshers Ball was a good thing or not). The important thing is Nottingham is treating me very well – I really slept on how good this city is – and my degree course is shaping up to be both challenging and hugely rewarding. There’ll be no shortage of work to do for it in the coming weeks and months, so it will be a real test of nerve to find the time to keep posting here. However, I’ve come this far with Surrey Medieval through all sorts of trials and tribulations that I feel a degree directly relevant to the standard subject matter of its posts and pages shouldn’t provide too much of an obstacle to continuing it on a fairly regular basis.
In my previous post I let on that I have a couple of conference-y things upcoming. The main event is just over a month away and, given I’ve not actually completed registering for it, I will keep a full explanation of where I’ll be and why for another day. Much sooner, this weekend no less (5th and 6th October), I will have a poster on display at the Thames Discovery Programme’s Foreshore Forum 2013 at UCL. Being in the East Midlands, I will be unable to attend but strongly encourage anyone with an interest in archaeology and not a lot planned for the weekend to go – here’s the link for tickets.
As well as a host of what will surely be excellent presentations, you will get the chance to clap eyes on my poster, whose title, ‘Pennies and place-names: networks of production and exchange on the south bank of the Thames in the Middle Anglo-Saxon period’, betrays its relationship to my debut piece about early medieval coins and their find-spots. I’m told the finished product looks “ace” and this comes from no less an authority than my wonderful, talented girlfriend who designed it (check out her website for a demonstration of what she could do to realise your academic poster dreams, or for, y’know, any fashion styling, graphic design and art direction needs you might have). I’ll upload a pdf of it here but not until after the Foreshore Forum, so if you’re itching to see it asap, you know where you have to go.