>Retreat, retreat!

>We’ve just had two full days of a school research retreat. I’ve just cleared the two days’ worth of email and am grateful there isn’t too much that needs a response. I’m tired, intellectually and physically. So tired, in fact, that I’m now going to resort to dot-points:

  • The retreat exceeded my expectations. Those who know me would snigger at this, and comment on the inability of a teamwork exercise to fall below my expectations. I’ll admit to a fair whack of cynicism about the entire event, and a rather stubborn resistance to others telling me what I must do and with whom. The plans for ‘clustering’ were initially presented in a (relatively) open way, but it was clear as the retreat progressed (!) that they were more enclosing and crucial to fitting into one’s discipline than I’d realised. In a perverse way, the more the clusters mattered, the more I got into the spirit of things and wanted to participate. Yes, raise those eyebrows. I don’t know either. Anyway, take-home message is that there are more collaborative projects on the go than we’ll have hours in a day to do them. That said, our cluster leader is an extremely dynamic and encouraging sort, and we may well make all those looming deadlines. I’ve rarely worked with teams, and am only now doing my first real bit of co-writing and a smattering of collaborative projects.
  • The most enlightening thing about these upcoming projects? They’re die-hard sociological studies on a large demographic scale. Yes, really!
  • After the first day of the retreat, I had a meeting with my colleagues from the Peril editorial team. It was the first time I’d seen many of them a long, long time and it felt good to be brainstorming/bantering/eating together, and talking about the journal. The newly formed editorial board will be meeting in August. I’m very much looking forward to having others’ perspectives on the publication and how it might grow, what directions might be worth investigating, etc. It’s always a cautious moment when a close-knit enterprise is opened up to broader scrutiny. Part of the best fun with being associated with Peril is coming up with future themes and possible contributions/solicitations.


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