Friday, October 31, 2008

I Gots Me A Job!!!

Well, hello, faithful readers. I know, I know! It's been a long time. The longest I've ever been away from my blog. Please forgive me. It's just been a very trying last few months for typical reasons.

But I did want to tell you that another reason why I've been too busy to write more is because I got a job with the University of Edinburgh! I am now an official member of the Department of History staff! I am a tutor for their American History 2 course. It's basically the same job that we term "teaching assistant" or "TA" back in the States. It's only once a week but for that day, I feel like my old self again.

I can't tell you how much it's affected me. For months, I've felt my brain slipping- wasting away without other intellectuals to converse with on a weekly basis.

I absolutely love commuting by train, walking out of Waverly Station and walking up the hill into Old Town passed the Royal Mile onto George IV Bridge and onto campus. I have my iPod and some fashion magazine to pass the time on the train. Then I have the formidable views of the smog-coated medieval and renaissance styled churchs and municipal buildings to keep my eyes darting from one side of the street to the other.

Now, although I'm an anthropologist, more specifically, a historical archaeologist by training, I have enough academic background to feel secure in teaching American history to second year students. But I will admit, I was taken aback just a bit. The students (at least in my classes) are ridiculously smart. Far more, by numbers, than students I taught in some parts of the US. But then, University of Edinburgh is one of the best institutions around. I believe it is ranked within the top the world!
From what I gather, if one does not make it into Cambridge or Oxford, one goes to Edinburgh.
According to wikipedia: In the Third European Report on Science & Technology Indicators, compiled by the European Commission,[10] the University of Edinburgh ranked as follows:

* 5th in Europe
* 3rd in the UK
* 1.35 score of citation impact (0.2 points below the leader, University of Cambridge)

The 2007 Times Higher Education Supplement [THES] World University Rankings ranked the University of Edinburgh as follows:[11]

* 23rd in the world
* 5th in the UK
* 5th in Europe overall

And because of this, there is quite a large population of English and Welsh students here; larger than I would have expected for a Scottish establishment. But in both my classes, the English and Welsh students outnumber the Scottish. This seems to be a demographic pattern found in many other departments of the university, although I was told that the differences in numbers between Scottish and other British students has shrunk some over the years.

So far, I am thoroughly enjoying my students. I've never dealt with such small numbers for my groups (no more than 10 students per class!). I'm used to 50 students or more at a time. But I've no complaints.

After my classes and office hours are done, I walk through Old Town and have lunch, maybe do a little bit of shopping over in New Town before I catch the train back home to Perth.

Not a bad way to spend my Tuesdays. Not bad at all!


At Nov 1, 2008, 8:34:00 PM, Blogger Bhuidhe said...

Hey, I took that course in 1988! Well there you go. Congratulations, hope you continue to enjoy the job!

At Nov 1, 2008, 8:52:00 PM, Blogger Camille Acey said...

congrats! glad to see a new post but pleased to hear that you had such a wonderful reason for being away. i hope this job leads to even better and brighter things! keep us posted. :)

At Nov 3, 2008, 4:09:00 AM, Blogger Twanna A. Hines | said...

CONGRATS!!!!! This is DEFINITELY cause for celebration!! :)

At Nov 3, 2008, 2:53:00 PM, Anonymous Helen said...

Congrats on the job! Love the photos. You must have an excellent eye for scenery and a really great camera.

At Nov 3, 2008, 6:55:00 PM, Blogger Norman Family said...

Peg, i am extremely jealous. Those photos are amazing. I am glad you found a reason to use your brain :)

At Nov 6, 2008, 2:49:00 PM, Blogger Noddy said...

Well done!

At Nov 24, 2008, 9:50:00 AM, Blogger tsduff said...

Congrats upon getting a job! Hope you keep it.

At Dec 31, 2008, 2:55:00 AM, Blogger scribblercraig said...

Well done!

At Dec 31, 2008, 2:56:00 AM, Blogger scribblercraig said...

Peggy, Craig McGill here. Been following your blog for a little while and I just wanted to check you were OK with me linking back to you at my site on ?

Excuse me now please, I need to go tweak the Robert Burns letters website I'm doing on wordpress (seemed like a good idea at the time to make Burns more web2.0...)

Have a good New Year

At Mar 13, 2009, 1:48:00 AM, Blogger Andrea said...

Hello, Congrats on finding work that will keep you within the world of academia, I just found your blog today, I'm black american and I've been living in London for the past 3 years, I completed my masters degree at the University of Michigan and was actually thinking about a PhD at some point and considering U of Edinburgh, I also have a daugher a little younger than your son..raising a child here in the UK is an adventure...if you ever want to chat or if you're in london (or I'm in Scotland)..I can be reached at rayoflight48103 at yahoo dot co dot uk



At Jun 12, 2009, 8:08:00 PM, Blogger said...

Hi there!

Pleeeeease... come back to the blog!!

Can't wait for more!

At Sep 1, 2009, 9:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just checked your blog on a whim today and surprise!! That's awesome news!! Congrats!!


At Oct 25, 2009, 1:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Hope & Neil's this weekend just saying much love for the site. You got got me trashed on gin & tonics once upon a time in Columbia. Take care. -Brian

At Oct 29, 2009, 4:33:00 AM, Blogger [Insightfully,Heidi] said...

i completely admire your lifestyle.,lol
ive always wantd to go to scottland &you LIVE there!
if you ever need an eager, foreign exchange student; im your girl!.,lol


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