Saturday, August 14, 2010

The one where I discover I'm a fox.

So the semester has well and truly started, and my tutorials are going well so far. Rather predictably the teaching has taken up all my thesis writing time, and it has been weeks since I've even opened the document. What I also knew would happen, because it always has done, is that once I start teaching I start gravitating towards doing research in the teaching field. So for the moment my mind buzzes with research projects related to classic fairy tales, or perhaps even Star Wars (because of the monomyth connection). When I taught Kalevala and national romanticism, I was all about that, and I still think I might one day do a bit more of an exploration of the "Kalevala process". When I teach first-year contemporary Europe topics I go all giddy about EU expansion and integration - that at least I've been able to channel into my Eurovision Song Contest project, which I now solemnly swear I will submit by the end of the year. The Communciation& Culture survey unit, with Habermas and medieval processions and whatnot got me going on urban space and nostalgia, censorship and pedagogy.

In part it's just the grip teaching has on you, in part it's procrastination, but I think it's perhaps mainly because I am a fox. Not in that otherwise perfectly laudable Kath-and-Kim way, but in the fox-or-hedgehog way Notorious PhD starts discussing here. The basic idea is that hedgehogs buckle down on one area and know it, create it, build it and know it some more. Foxes don't burrow so deeply in to one area, but explore more widely: "The foxes knew a little about a lot, while the hedgehogs knew a lot about a little." I appreciate that it's perhaps more fashionable being a fox than a hedgehog - as arbitrary as the distinction can be - but I don't know if I feel comfortable with my foxy leanings.We'll see. I'll unleash myself properly once the thesis is done...

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