2009 – Part 2

July: was mostly quiet, my parents visited and, oh yeah, we bought a house and moved! July was therefor the true start of the BBQ summer as we had no cooker for 4 weeks.

I blogged about the Best American Science Writing 2008, and undergraduate laboratory adventures.

August: was a little more busy as I had a Nuffield project student start working on a synthetic project making new dendrimers. I was also trying frantically to complete my Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Portfolio for September 1st submission. I managed to fit in a quick trip to London to Science Online London 2009, and also saw the Carbon Rapture exhibition at Burlington House.  I blogged about this and little else in August!

September: was busy again. I submitted my TLHEP portfolio, my project student wrapped up his work with some good successes (sometimes figuring out which avenues are not worth pursuing is as good as any positive result), and the teaching prep started seriously.  I managed a pitiful single blog post in September which included one of the coolest bits of chemistry of 2009 – the AFM of pentacene.

October: was a blur of teaching, meetings, teaching and more teaching. Seriously, not much was done in October other than work. I had approx. 25 contact hours per week, and that included Monday and Tuesday 9 – 5pm with no break unless negotiated with colleagues.  There was no blogging in October!  I did make it to the third Nesta Crucible Laboratory however, in Devon, which was a nice break.

November: started much as October ended – drowning in work, but by week 7 of the semester things eased up and I got to have my life back.  I attended the Crucible Alumni event in London, submitted a couple of funding applications (one alone, the rest with collaborators) and blogged about science gadgets, the need to be polite on blogs so as not to alienate people, and social network overwhelm.

December: and the run up to Christmas is always a strange period.  I survived the work Christmas party, and blogged about lab skills and the first half of this year in review navel gazing.   I also discovered two half decent shows on TV – Paradox (BBC) and Defying Gravity (BBC).

2009 was pretty busy, not necessarily bloggy busy, but real life busy.  We’ll see what next year is like!

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