I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Stéphanie la deuxième

One of the great joys of the Centre of Excellence has been the appointment of nine fabulous post-doctoral fellows in various hubs of the Centre around the country. We have two at Melbourne: Sarah and Stephanie. Both are fabulous young women who are throwing themselves into the work of the Centre with such enthusiasm it is quite inspiring. They have their own projects to work on; they are establishing networks with other post-docs; they are going to conferences; they are helping us organise conferences; they will be doing a little graduate teaching; they are setting up reading groups; they are exchanging work for commentary and discussion; they are making our little suite of rooms feel like a very active and buzzing little hub.

Today was the first meeting of the Old French reading group Stephanie had organised, with the assistance of Véronique in the French department. There were a dozen people in the room, reading Marie de France's Laüstic, learning not to do eighteenth-century "r"s, counting octosyllabic lines, and looking at photocopies of the sole Harley ms., which also features the music and lyrics of "Sumer is i-cumen in."

Staff, post-docs, doctoral students, honours students, retired folk, all just concentrating together. A very happy hour, reminding me of the best things a university can be.

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