In the first half of my scholarly vocation during the pandemic I was occupied with the rushed development new competencies in learning and teaching technologies. And, of course, there was Zoom: meetings, seminars, tutorials, and more. With four children, there was the managing of both educational and recreational activities.
The latter half of my pandemic experience was vastly different. While my colleagues continued with Zoom and explored hybrid teaching models, I found myself unemployed—I was in a job transition when the lockdown hit, and I could not finalize the move without certain immigration services still off-line due to Covid.
The blessing amidst the uncertainty and lack of income has been extra time for writing and research, and margins for spending more time with family.
Thankfully, the immigration debacle has been sorted. I currently serve as Leech Fellow at St John’s College. In the Autumn I will be taking on the role of Tutor in NT at Ridley Hall, Cambridge University.
My “unpaid research leave” may prove the most productive season in my career.
Andy Byers (PhD, Durham University) is the Leech Fellow, St John’s College, Durham University.