The Comfort Pursuit

Month in review: November and December 2017, and January 2018

This condensed month in review post is unusual – a first to be fair! – and these past three months have been eventful ones. On 12th November I left Cairns to atend the International Urban Design Conference in the Gold Coast. From there I flew to Brazil where I participated in an examination panel in my old Architecture and Urbanism School where I did my Masters and was a keynote speaker in an event in the Architecture School where I undertook my Bachelor in Architecture and Urbanism.

While in Brazil I got the great news that we have been awarded the Fulbright Specialist Program grant, and will have Chuck Wolfe back in Australia in June/July. Here are the other things that have happened in the past months:

 

Research

Early in November, just before traveling I did a couple of interviews for the research about the Economic Benefits of Urban Comfort. That was the last bit of data collection before travelling.

While in Brazil, in early December, I visited the UNESP (Universidade Estadual Paulista), whith which JCU is about to sign a partnership for research and teaching. Soon after that visit I had a Skype call with three lecturers from UEMA (Universiade Estadual do Maranhão), as we also have intentions of undertaking research together.

Both these Brazilian visits emerged from the Vice-Chancellors visit I mentioned in October’s Month in Review.

 

Writing

Although the writing side was slower than usual, I managed to complete a couple of revisions in this period. The first one was the International Urban Design Conference paper, which has been accepted for publication, and a book chapter which I completed the final revisions.

Besides that, I have gone back to an old dataset and promised to myself this time I will finish that manuscript. Why some papers are so much more difficult than others?

 

Presentations

On the ‘presentations front’ I have delivered a paper on the International Urban Design Conference, and the keynote I mentioned above in the ‘6º Encontro Internacional Cidade, Contemporaneidade e Morfologia Urbana (6th International Meeting on City, Contemporaneity and Urban Morphology’), in my hometown of Pelotas, in Brazil – featured image on the top of this post.

 

Teaching

Architecture and Urbanism School at UFRGS
Building Science Laboratory at UFRGS. Where my academic life started!

JCU had already finished the 2017 second semester by November, but I did participate in a Masters examination panel at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). This was a great experience, as UFRGS is where I got my own Masters degree. It was great to be back in that Architecture and Urbanism School.

When I got back home and to JCU, it was time to prepare the EV2120 (Design Communication) subject. This is also very exciting, as this subject has been structured as a pilot for a pedagogical methodology using Blended Learning for studio teaching. I believe this will be a great teaching experience as well.

 

Learning

Apart from the conferences, where I did learn a lot, this was probably the quieter of all areas as there were no professional development or other workshops happening in this period.

 

So, to wrap it up, in the midst of it all and after a very uncomfortable 15 hours flight from Australia to South America, I also discovered a last achievement for these three months: I got pregnant. This is perhaps the main reason why this space has been so quiet. The nausea of those first two months made me do only the very essential tasks in the computer. Fortunately, I managed to prepare the presentations, attend the pre-scheduled meetings, and honour all appointments I had pre arranged. Only the holidays weren’t as pleasant as the time I spend in Brazil every year, as I was feeling unwell and less tolerant. But luckily those days are gone, and work life is back to normal for now.

After frequent visits to doctors, I am now in the third trimester and thinking about the next adventures. Things are about to change around here…

2 thoughts on “Month in review: November and December 2017, and January 2018”

  1. Wow – so many achievements on ALL fronts. Congratulations!!!

    PS – Get that paper out before the baby arrives. Do not believe people that tell you that you can get a lot done while the baby is asleep. You can’t (plus, the baby won’t sleep much, anyway).

    1. Many thanks Ana! The length of maternity leave is my biggest question at the moment, exactly because of what you wrote. I have the option here of 6 months full pay or one year with half pay… Leaning towards the first as I could come back part-time for a while, but any advice is welcome!

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