Filter & Sort
What’s New With Our Writers: Janni Aragon co-facilitated a workshop on iPads and iOthers for faculty and staff at University of Victoria (Dec 1st). Janni also organized the Academic Women’s Caucus annual wine and cheese and the women faculty and librarian enjoyed time to network and enjoy conversation after a busy term (Dec 6th).
I have been invited to present a seminar paper at the Institute of Historical Studies in London in December, but my excitement is tempered by the inevitable visa application. As a South African citizen, I need a visa to gain entry to most of Europe and Asia, all of North America, and parts of Latin America. Most people need to apply for visas for long stays for study or work in foreign countries, but those of us from the developing world need visas for short visits as well. I am not going to add to the debate about the fairness or otherwise of the visa system, but, instead, want to describe its impact on my work as an academic in a developing nation.
When I first started working in academia as full-time staff, I was 24 years old, and had graduated only 18 months earlier. I envisioned myself still a student, and technically, since I was enrolled in a part-time graduate program, I was. My friends were still students, some undergraduate, some had moved on to graduate programs. I thought I was able to offer the “older” staff relevant opinions on what students would or would not like, which I hope was partly true.
When I first began working at the University, I was absolutely terrified of making an idiot of myself. I had graduated ten years earlier with an honours degree in Psychology, and had done very little of academic note since then. And while I still don’t relish the idea of broadcasting my ignorance when it happens to come up, I have realized that faculty and administration do understand that everyone comes from diverse educational backgrounds: one person’s expertise in bats does not make another’s knowledge of tree rings any less significant or noteworthy.
How do you balance working and living in different time zones? How do you make international collaboration work?