August 28th, 2017

Some thoughts as the balance of my life changes.

I needed the the time off and away I’ve just had, here in late August 2018. As back here in Liverpool I’ve returned to a new time in my life. A few weeks away from taking up my place at the University of Liverpool, with the balance of everything shifting.

From knowing I’d be starting at the University but still mostly doing all the things I usually do and write about on here, to the other way round. Where it’s the university work first and then any other work fitting around it.

For the last few months I’ve been thinking about this. What difference will starting my MA and then PhD make to my life? Which things I do, for work and otherwise, are coming with me into this newly shaped life and are there some I might not have the time for soon? The truth is I don’t quite know yet and won’t know until after I get going on my academic work at the end of September.

I hadn’t realised I wanted to make such a big change in my life and hadn’t particularly gone looking for it. But now the time has arrived I’m excited, intrigued and surprised.

So I’ve decided to write about it all in this new space I’ve set up on my blog. “Fieldnotes for Utopia” I’ve called it. Field notes from a changing life, which might well turn into field notes for the PhD itself? Who knows? I’ve never been here and done this before.

As well as the subject matter of the PhD, I’ll be writing about the whole experience. Of going into academic work after so many practical years of working with communities and enterprises in so many places, particularly Liverpool.

Obviously the academic work I’ll do will be related to what I’ve been working on for most of my life, it couldn’t be otherwise. But I’m looking forward to looking at things I think I know about in new ways and to learning and thinking about entirely new things too. Like what time is, how it works and what we can learn from thinking about time in the places we care about? Much more about that anyway, and more besides, as I get going.

And about how it all feels. Going back and doing academic things after so much time away. A change in my working habits and a whole new culture to work in. How will that all work out?

Well let’s see?

Maybe because it’s this time of the year it all feels a bit like going back to school. I’ve bought a new bag which I’m only half-jokingly calling a satchel, and I’ve got a load of new pens too.

See, I’m excited. A bit worried too, like with anything new. About the mechanics of getting a student card and making sure I’m all set up on the University’s computer system. And the challenge of thinking new things and how to research stuff and coming up with some genuinely new and useful knowledge, which is the eventual point of a PhD?

And I’m so pleased, almost beyond words to be doing this, here and now, at this time in my life.

So I’m going to write about it. Sometimes, maybe a lot. Bear with me. It’ll all make sense in the end.


More of this to follow, and some stuff about how I got here on this new section of the blog: Fieldnotes for Utopia

Published by Ronnie

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place:

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  1. Fantastic! (And we call the university ‘school’ between ourselves, by the way, so satchel is entirely appropriate in my humble…) Which school (sorry) are you with? Do you have a tile? I suppose I should stop asking and go look at the new one. Best of luck, Ronnie.

  2. I loved your site on Seaport I worked on the interviews with Graham Smith which were played at the exhibition organised by Dennis sharp ( now deceased ) My favourite nightclub was the Jacaranda

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