I had a strong feeling I should only more or less to copy and paste here last year's blog entry for this week, just leaving out the references to the REF and replacing Manchester with Bradford, but it probably would not have made justice to the reality. If I was a spin doctor, it would be relatively easy to give a positive spin to this week: our edited volume is almost ready, I was successful in getting the final articles in and pairing them with peer-reviewers and we finalised the paperwork for my three-year contract so I will be employed from the first of January again at Stockholm. Nevertheless, my life was basically about replacing fullstops with commas, transforming footnotes to endnotes and informing my Nordic colleagues that they should replace the decimal commas with decimal points in the scales of their figures. I needed breaks, so I managed to enter firmly to the Hyacinth Bucket school of ignorance when making earlier a few tweets (I could mentally hear my colleagues verbalising 'Could you please read/watch before opening your mouth/typing those letters on the keyboard') plus spent half a day sending Christmas cards, forgetting to include quite a many people in the list.
As a result of the continuous editing and the fact that I could better spot the diversions from the house style by having short pauses, I ended up following this year's TAG in its Twitter feed relatively regularly. I also commented the events both in my private and public roles. The duality was replicated in the Twitter reality where the tweets from the Mental Health in Archaeology and Fiction sessions were alternating and almost commenting each other. In one tweet from the Fiction session a tweeter told that the current speaker concluded that in archaeological narratives social, cultural and interpersonal interactions are mostly absent and the following Mental Health tweet, in time just after the former, suggested that there people were discussing suffering during the fieldwork.
The theme of the TAG this year was diversity, but somehow the Mental Health theme sounded more like a CIfA conference one. It turned out that there was an important input from the CIfA. However, the TAG potentially gives better access to younger archaeologists, both students and early career ones, and more mix with academics, so I can see why it was there. There was also a session about the young people (or their absense) in archaeology. This session was also reflected in the tweets that seemed to elude many interesting sessions. The tweeters were unevenly spread plus some major actors were presenting. Thus, there was very little Monumentality and movement or Heterarchy.
These kinds of interventions enlightened my days while I was reformatting references or pestering my colleagues, pleading for emergency peer-reviews that I was asking to be given now/in a few days/by Christmas Eve. I still will have one article to get and one peer-reviewer to find who will be period specific and can do over the holidays. I should also download the files for the next volume of the Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland that also requires finally attention. I already sent the editorial board their Christmas cards, but they may get further communications on this matter before the term will start again.
It has been editing days, although it was not that my life would not have any drama... As indicated last week, our family cat was displaced - so much so that she was missing for almost a whole week. But that I leave to my mummy blog.
Next week it will be Christmas, so this blog may or may not take a week's leave. Eating chocolate on Boxing Day may trump any scribing!