You must be finished for the summer? Like most academics, I get asked this question every day in summer, usually by village acquaintances convinced that college closes the day the students finish their exams.
Some lecturers in the Institutes of Technology do indeed take off from June 20th to September 1st; that is their right, given the heavy teaching load during termtime. However, for those of us who try to keep up the research, the summer months are the time to get something done, just like our colleagues in the universities.
For me, this is no chore – the sheer bliss of being able to do quiet research without classes, meetings, staff interactions and all the rest of it. Very restful. Also, we’re having a serious heatwave in Ireland this month and I’m happy to escape to the cool, quiet office every day. So I plug away happily during the day and treat myself to a swim in my village in the evenings..
Tide’s in on Lawlor’s Strand in Dunmore East
Actually, I did give some ‘cameo’ lectures this week and last, to our summer school. We have a very nice bunch of engineering, computing and business students visiting from Kiel in Germany, and I had fun trying to condense my climate science course down to a one-hour presentation for each group. I haven’t given short presentations on climate before, it was very satisfying to prepare (see here for a copy of the talk) The other thing I noticed was that students from the continent always seem to be very mature, polite and interested. I must look into an exchange sometime, do they have Erasmus for staff?
My main task this summer is to finish my little book on cosmology. It’s based on a course I have taught for some years and it’s been a lot of fun to write. Now I’m finding that it’s one thing to write a book and quite another to get it published! Still, I have plenty of time now to be writing book proposals and writing to publishers. In the meantime, I look forward to a swim in the sea everyday after work and a walk into the village. It’s funny to live in a village where others come for summer holidays!
Tide’s out on Lawlor’s Strand in Dunmore East
Unfortunately it’s so warm, we’re beginning to get quite a few jellyfish. Hope it cools down a little next week!