Multi-tasking in May

My precious
How did it get to be May already? That's 4 months in my new position at Edinburgh! It turns out that having complete responsibility for your own work schedule is liberating but also a challenge. So many tasks, so little time. Starting out on an academic career, I didn't realise how much of my time some of these tasks would take. Even in a research focused position, a great deal of my time over the past 4 months has been spent on administrative duties, including paperwork for teaching a new course next year, coursework and exam marking and moderation, multiple funding applications, and the edited volume of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences which is slowly taking over my life as the publication date approaches. Not all of these tasks are arduous - there is a strange part of me that gets satisfaction from writing a well constructed argument in a grant proposal (even better when the proposal is successful). Even editorial work is not too bad - the actual process of reading through and making the final tweaks that make a paper polished. The other side of the editorial process however, chasing reviewers, chasing revisions, checking revisions have actually been done, not so much fun.

In amongst that lot, I have even managed to get some research done, thanks largely due to the arrival last month of my new personal microscope, enabling multi-tasking galore at my own desk!  I work much more efficiently jumping between tasks as the inspirations (and deadlines) arise. So having my microscope, computer and library all within reach is rather handy. At the moment I am working on my power point presentation for the 25th Anniversary International Soil Micromorphology Workshop in Cambridge next week. I'm presenting results from a paper recently accepted for publication in Antiquity and co-authored with fellow Catalhoyuk researcher, archaeobotanist and phytolith specialist Phillipa Ryan who works at the British Museum. I'll post further details when it's available online.

Shillito, L-M. and Ryan, P. (in press) Surfaces and streets: phytoliths, micromorphology and changing use of space at Neolithic Çatalhöyük (Turkey) Antiquity