In Which I Reach a Blogger’s Milestone

No, not the porn search hits, although they continue getting weirder and weirder every time I check my dashboard.

At the conference of the Australian Early Medieval Association in Brisbane last week, I told the nice person who was chairing my session that I’d just won the SMFS essay prize, because, hey, I’m feeling proud of myself. Including this in my introduction had an interesting result: after everyone had dispersed for the day, a Nice Person stopped and asked me Do you have a blog?

To which I said yes, and turns out she found me via Jonathan Jarrett, and having read my self-aggrandisement on here, successfully identified me as the Naked Philologist. Slightly odd (I keep forgetting that Real People also use the internet) but pretty cool.

Other things which happened at AEMA:

* My paper went pretty well- no one fell asleep, at least. There was one other paper on an 11th century subject, and two from around the seventh century, and aside from that everyone was early patristic scholars. The one Scary Person whose feedback I feared was exhausted and said nothing particularly scary.

* I was given an awful lot of very strange advice. This included

– Don’t get married (from mostly divorced people).

– I’m glad you’re taking some time off, you should get married and have children before you start your PHD. (This from a single person.)

– Don’t waste your youth on partying and drinking (this from a drunk person).

– Do a PHD on medieval urban planning, and become a lecturer in the history of urban planning, because there is a shortage of urban planning lecturers and they might actually pay you (this from a Norsist who is working as a business historian).

I also was given some less strange advice, eg that I should write a paper on bondage jokes in SGGK because it’d look interesting on a resume. And some helpful tips on writing a thesis introduction, from the aforementioned Nice Person (HI, nice person!).

The moral of today’s Procrastination Post is: go to conferences, they are vastly entertaining.


8 Responses to “In Which I Reach a Blogger’s Milestone”

  1. Greg Carrier Says:

    Oh, you’d love Kalamazoo, then! =) It’s always amazing, the (quasi-)advice you get.

    Mind, you’d probably love Leeds as well, but as I’ve never been (not yet, anyways), I wouldn’t know.

  2. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    I only know of one other Australian reader; a Melbourne-based person, at a guess? Still: happy to have been a small cog in a greater piece of networking…

    N. B. do not get married and/or have children before you start your Ph. D. unless you wish to be always plagued with guilt about neglecting either them or it. I’m just saying.

  3. highlyeccentric Says:

    Yesm, that’s the one.

    N.B. One would have to know someone with whom to marry and procreate, so that’s not something I forsee for myself anytime soon…

  4. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    I don’t know whether to commiserate with you on your luck or congratulate you on your scholarly dedication… Surely the not-a-Viking helmet has them falling at your feet.

    N. B. What is the blogging protocol for when the N. B. points replace the main text? Please send help and/or beer etc.

  5. highlyeccentric Says:

    But perhaps I was not talking of a lack of candidates, but a lack of SUITABLE candidates. Naturally a valiant Non-Viking-Helmet-Wearing warrior like myself has only the highest standards.

    N.B. I think one must accept that this is the inevitable fate of online conversation at 3 in the morning…

  6. Larry Swain Says:


    Glad to hear the conference went well. I’ve always wanted someone to blog this one because I hear whispers of good stuff happening there.

    Regarding advice: live your life (i. e. get drunk and go wild, but only occasionally, if marriage and/or children in your life good, if not, also good, but the important thing is that if you’re going for PhD, do it, do it in the time allotted by your university, etc.), and do a subject that interests you. Any advice about what you *should* do as a field cause there aren’t many of X will most likely change by the time you’ve finished. So pursue what interests you: it takes too much heart and too many resources to do something only related to what you want.

    That’s my old man advice to a young grad student. You can use that. 🙂

  7. Jonathan Jarrett Says:

    I shan’t ask what kind of suitor would be suitable, but instead merely observe that, as I’m ten hours behind you, I need a much better excuse for this sort of conversation…

    Larry’s advice is sage though: finish in time. My Ph. D. over-ran by a (part-time) year and it was much better for it – but, if I’d finished sooner I’d have been qualified for a whole bunch of jobs and people wouldn’t have expected me to have done something extra and academic with the time I’d taken that others hadn’t (because they’d managed to secure funding I hadn’t, which is also a marker of a kind of quality alas). Basically, if you can climb the ladder faster than you might it counts for everything. There are so many contenders for the jobs now that you have to be astonishingly good to beat the golden kids who just walked through it all. You might well be astonishingly good and one of the golden kids of course; but it’s hard hard hard getting back onto the path if life taks you off it.

  8. highlyeccentric Says:

    Larry- Sober, sensible advice there. My main priority right now is finishing the blasted honours thesis, and then I need some time off to recover, because, as both of you have pointed out, losing time on the PHD will really bite.

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