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Easter ‘break’ shenanigans…

The Easter ‘holidays’ is a great time of the academic year because it means that I get to catch up on all the bits and pieces I’ve been putting off since the start of teaching. With three weeks of no teaching, I’ve been relatively productive, starting and finishing off a major publication about urban masculinities, language and violence (10,000 words in a few weeks is no easy feat…), finishing off a transcript of Mock the Week, catching up on my M.A. students’ dissertation work, and being acting head of department while the actual head of department was on annual leave. I was also able to squeeze in a family wedding, more than a few games of rugby (I was especially impressed by Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup quarter finals), a nice picnic in the park when it was sunny, and some decent exercise as well.

I’ll also be giving a talk to sixth form pupils at Cadbury College this Friday on language and gender and I’ve got no idea how to go about it. I think I’m going to talk about social vs. biological approaches to language and gender (bringing in the Locke stuff I wrote about ages ago) and hopefully that’ll go down pretty well, at least if I can get them to talk about some of the issues first (like, who talks more? Who’s more polite? Why do you think this is? etc etc). I’ve never presented to non-university aged students though, so I don’t really know what to expect. But it’s all good public outreach work.

This is, in many ways, the calm before the storm, and come the start of next week, it’ll be two weeks of teaching, followed by a deluge of marking and assessments, exam boards, external examiner duties, data analysis, writing up, conferences, and other such fun fun fun. I do, at least, have conferences in Brazil and Berlin to look forward to, both places I’ve never been before, and a nice long summer break to get on with writing, but I’ve got to get through the rest of this semester first…

The Social Linguist

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