Notes for week 1

Week 1: Prologue, interlogue, dialogue: why you want to be an academic or do you?

A prologue happens at the beginning of a story, an interlogue in the middle and an epilogue at the end. We hope that this question will prompt a little dialogue in the group as you share your thoughts on why you have opted to go down this path.

There is a series of books called the Academic's Support Kit. The books are available for borrowing online from the GU library1.

The first of these is well worth a look, particularly the opening chapters:

Boden, R., Epstein, D., & Kenway, J. (2005). Building your Academic Career. London; Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

The authors pose important questions and make keen observations about pursuing the academic path. Their considerations are also useful if you intend to pursue an academic agenda outside the academy.

The second resource we suggest, purely for skimming and getting a sense of what the site offers in Inger Mewburn's blog, the thesis whisperer. Inger has been writing since 2010 so the volume is large. There is a good deal of insight and advice in the posts. Something you can dip into as the need arises. For now, it's something to locate in your resource system, whatever it is, so that you can return to it at a later time.

Being or becoming an academic does not only mean those who work in universities. There are many who have been trained as academics who work in industry, the public service, the military, and other places. There are a small number of people who have become successful writers. So the term academic is being used broadly.

What's the job like, being an academic? How do academics spend their time? A little digging around the net will locate quite a few detailed accounts. Perhaps this from PhD Comics is apt.

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