Annual Leave: Getting Lost

The summer around universities is a very interesting time and space. In particular to wander around peaceful corridors and paths; but bump into very busy and deep in thought scholars. I had the fortunate time in August to completely remove myself and head on annual leave for two weeks. However, I wish that it was weekly or monthly leave rather than annual, as I reflect now it probably won’t be for another year that I can take such a break.

Immediately post the Rio Olympics, I am sure many people would expect a blog around the event. However, that is for September and post the Paralympics- that start very soon. I very much believe now opinions in an Olympic year should come after both events. 

For this week I have hit the ground running and come to the Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise Conference, hosted by the University of Chichester. In real life terms, it is a bit like attending a New Year’s party where everyone is gathering and celebrating ideas ready to take on a new academic year. The speakers and presentations so far have been rather wonderful- but I will need a few days to really consider how I can use specific lessons or points in my own work.

The biggest immediate reflection I have is to the importance of coming to a more methodological conference than purely content orientated. I am listening to projects and contexts that have nothing at all to do with my research. Yet learning and relating so much because their methods, design, outlook and perspectives are either similar or contrasting. As the keynote Prof. Simone Fullagar said today it is a productive process to get lost. What I am taking from that currently is that removing myself through annual leave and this conference (from my immediate PhD context), I can really get lost and then hopefully find myself again fresh for September. But, I do have a poster to present tomorrow, so I guess I may try and answer all questions with… I am currently lost!

To end this more conversational blog post, I am going to use a quote I saw on twitter a few months back.



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