Obligatory 'hello world' post

What is this place?

Why hello there! (He says in his best Obi Wan voice)

Welcome to this blog. As is my cultural tradition I should have something spread out for guests like sweets or a beverage. Bare with me while I gather things here, this is my first post after all and there is still some scaffolding around the place. I don’t think this is a right of passage in any way, I’ve made and forgotten many blogs in the past. I’m sincerely hoping this one sticks partly because my career now requires this (or at least that is how I’ve come to understand things), but also because I really need to get back into the habit of writing (again for the sake of my career, and some sanity).

Have some ladoo, apologies if you’re diabetic (Source)

I’m not sure who might end up reading any of this content, but perhaps these collections of words will make sense to others. They may even help me in my research. Maybe you’re one of my students who has curiously found your way onto this semi-personal space of mine, or an avid researcher by chance whose stumbled here because of my work? Perhaps your just passing by and happened to be curious.

I like that in all these instances curiosity is the common thread linking everything. My entire life has pretty much been about curiosity and as is the way of time I’ve aged, and over this course have realised that the decisions I’ve made were always because of curiosity. Why else would anyone enter academia? It’s certainly not because of the lavish high-flying celebrity lifestyle I can assure you that! We become teachers, academics, and researchers because we are curious kittens. I’d would much like to retain that thread as I continue with my work and hopefully this blog can be a part of that story.

What would I like from this blog?

  • I’d like this ‘blog’ to become something of a repository for my thoughts and practice as an academic.
  • I’d like it to also be a repository of possible research explorations that are for a lack of a better word undercooked, perhaps as thought experiments or loose accounts of future possibilities.
  • I’d like to use this as a platform for making more sense out of my work and benefit my career.
  • I’d like this to be a place for me to let out some steam once in a while and ponder existence, we all need to occasionally after all.
  • I’d like to separate my more personal opinions, musings, and rants from the serious work I’ve done in the past and plan to do ahead. For those interested I’m referring to my Medium blog, one of my previous lacklustre attempts in retaining this written lifestyle.
  • I’d like to be able to make writing a bigger part of my life through this blog. I used to write profusely before and for those who don’t know I’ve written multiple short stories, half of a novel, and the beginnings of another one all of course unpublished! This is perhaps one of the bigger reasons why I’d like this blog to exist as well, so I can get back into those fictional worlds through this practice.

Why does this matter?

Should it matter? There is a lot of pressure on academics to write or at least have their opinions out in the world in some form. “What is your contribution to the generation of new knowledge?”, to paraphrase a question my supervisor asked me in my PhD and one I ask all my research students as well because it matters. This need from the academic life pushes us towards things like keeping blogs, written accounts, recordings or daily thoughts, and more how ever possible.

Should it matter I ask again? Maybe not, after all when we are doing research is it for the good of knowledge or for that curious itch we have as individuals who foster interest in things? A question I’d love to leave hanging in the air for a bit.

What to expect ahead

I’m planning on writing more often in this space and as mentioned separating content and thoughts. I’ve always been interested in organising myself towards efficiency and I’ve recently been enamoured by Obsidian a knowledge management app (basically over powered note taking). I highly recommend it, I use it for managing my student information, classwork, research work, and also personal life. In fact, this post I wrote in Obsidian as well. I’ll definitely be dropping some of my experiences with knowledge management in here in the coming days.

The making of this blog has been a learning activity in itself and I’ll certainly share what I’ve learned in my next post. As a researcher I’ve learned and explored many ways to support my academic journey which will also find a home here. I suppose that’s the thing in the end, what to to expect is a very board and vague thing to say or even suggest. Though I also don’t like the term ’expect’, it has an air of anticipation, anxiety, even urgency which always makes me uncomfortable. What if whatever comes ahead isn’t to your ’expectations’ (no pun)?

I think I’ll be playing it by ear. I’ve often found that no matter how much you can plan and manage things, things have a tendency of getting away as well.