But that's good. Chatting with people. Learning about them.
Having strong ideas about what to talk about but not fixing those ideas. Letting to person being interviewed talk about areas important to them.
After all my PhD is about what they think. Not what I think they are.
And then in July I was creating a new art piece using CDs - 'Holly Sparkles'.
Oh I said I would prepare much of it before the 10th of July 2010 and then get it signed by visitors in Manchester while I was finishing it.
That was stressful...
Oh, I did it. And it got auctioned off that night. But not very well auctioned. Several people who were interested in getting it weren't informed.
Very disappointed that I put in so much effort...
Some of the main organisers asked would I do it again in 2011.
I think you can guess my reaction.
I was diplomatic.
2011 2011 2011.
In June I became Public Engagement Ambassador for my university. Largely because that's my view. That academics should be involved with communities and not in an ivory tower... but that's so different from a lot of academics.
Then in July I went to Canada...
You see, early in 2011 I got an email talking about an international conference based in Vancouver, Canada. It concerned gender issues as well.
But the deadline had just passed. So I thought, "Well it's only just passed. I'll apply and see if I can get them to pay for me to go over. I probably won't get accepted."
Didn't expect that they would reply saying, "YES!
We'd love you present there!
Only thing we can't pay you to go over."
So I emailed one of my PhD supervisors. Well I don't know what he said but...
The university agreed to pay for me to go.
Vancouver, I should add, is one of my favourite cities. That's why I applied in the first place. I have family living there as well. Been several times.
So I liaised with people at the university and it turns out that although the conference I was to talk at was only for two days, I'd be in Vancouver for a week staying at a fab place on the University of British Columbia campus where they served bed, breakfast and evening meal.
Was I happy?
Although the conference was largely a typical academic conference. The presentation skills of some academics was very conventional even though they were guest lecturers.
One guest speak was this American academic and he, it would seem, was a major catch. To be paid to do his talk.
And it looked as if he so did not want to be bothered.
He sat at this table with his script in front of him and read from it without looking at the audience.
I didn't understand anything he said. And I think that his attitude was rude.
My talk was completely different.
PowerPoint slides but I also stood up three times to physically act out several personal experiences. One funny. One dramatic. One charming.
In other words: entertain the audience and they might learn more from you.
Still an uphill battle. Late 2011 I was formally putting my PhD together.
That was ... interesting. Tell you another time.
You notice? Didn't mention politics in this edition of my blog and I...