The academic year: my top 10 (part 2)

But wait! There’s more! My top 10 continued…

6. The article that brewed for 8 years.

As an academic you get used to rejection. It happens. A lot. For reasons that range from the incisive to the insane via the merely bewildering. This year I finally got an “accept” from a top-ranked journal, Environment and Planning C, for an article that I first started working on eight years ago and which had been rejected by three other journals. This included a rejection by an editor faced with the best review I have ever received from anyone, bar none. Sigh. Thanks to senior colleagues who convinced me to persevere with it.

7. Seeing the department grow, and grow happy.

It’s been remarkable this year that Politics at Warwick has been growing explosively: bringing in resources, hiring colleagues from the most senior to eager postdocs (who are, frankly, scarily good!) — and no, not just for REF reasons — yet somehow managing to top all the university’s satisfaction surveys. I am extremely lucky to work with such a great a group of colleagues. Folks, it’s a privilege.

8. Dr Ashwini Swain.

Ashwini started his PhD with me in York some years ago, looking at participatory management of electricity distribution in two rural locations in India. He was funded by a grant from the Institute for Pro-Poor Growth organised by the late Adrian Leftwich. Having trained as a numbers man, Ashwini worked so hard doing qualitative work that generated some fascinating insights into how people engaged with institutions and incentives. It was a difficult road, but he got there. Congratulations Dr Swain.

9. The lovely students who sent me thank you cards.

Especially the student who nearly failed but nonetheless sent me a wonderful thank you email. They really are touching, and I appreciate them very much. I also accept whisky (Famous Grouse and/or any Islay malt), 4-seater convertibles (I do have kids), and a range of major credit cards. Unlike this academic.
Note to the humourless: I am joking. Well, about the car. A bit.

And last but by no means least:
10. My brilliant wife.

If I sing her praises she’ll be embarrassed and annoyed simultaneously. So here goes. She’s completely briliiant at what she does, inspires the people around her, and I learn something from her every day. I give you Carolyn Parkinson.

Not a bad year. Bring on 2013-14. But only after a break.

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