The Spring term (a misnomer according to Edgar, who feels like Spring is still a long way away) has begun and the lab meetings have recommenced. The first meeting back is for catching up and planning, and although it didn’t feel that long since the end of the last term we appear to all have been quite busy.

Ellie has spent three weeks in Orlando, Florida, warming up a little, shopping a bit, and visiting a famous mouse. She was at pains to point out that this was all totally unrelated to work. She did, however, run a marathon.

Ben has had some issues with a proposal he has (along with Judith) in with ESRC. In spite of some extremely promising reviews, they are still waiting to hear whether the proposal can be funded or not. Maybe soon? He’s also been working with his remote PhD student Alison on results analysis and attempting to write a paper that he keeps getting stuck on. To distract himself from that he’s been enjoying(?!) the frustrations of HTML as he and Judith continue preparations for PPIG.

Edgar also went to warm up, spending time in Thailand and Malaysia over the break. He also spent time marking learning diaries from the course he and Kate taught last term, which he has found interesting in terms of feedback on the activities they used.

Marianna has started teaching this term, and was having a little difficulty reading the reactions of the UK students. She went home to Italy over the Christmas break, but the weather wasn’t as cold and snowy as she was hoping (each to their own!). She has a trip to Utah next week for one of her many projects, and has continued to work on proposals. She’s also hoping to set up a study on taste in the near future, but didn’t want to say too much in case she needed to use the lab group as guinea pigs.

Jim went back to Scotland, and even he was impressed by the sheer volume of rain that fell while he was there. He’s been working out how to add agents into a single-player game that are credible replacements for the other players in a multi-player. Fun!

Eric has been working on analysing and writing up the TRACE project reports. He went to Bristol and the South West over the break, where it was also wet. But he got new shoes, so all was well.

Kate said she was the least travelled of us all! Alternatively you could argue her carbon footprint is smallest. She’s also teaching again this term, so has been focussing on preparing for that. This is in addition to working on TRACE with Eric, and preparing to kick off another project after pilots last term.

Judith spent Christmas in Brussels, and had a fabulous time. She’s teaching two courses this term, so prep for those has taken precedence since. She’s also been working on Athena Swan stuff, rewriting a paper with Kate, going through CHI workshop submissions, and working with Chris Frauenberger on submitting another workshop proposal. Amongst other things!

So, much going on. Plenty of teaching and writing all round, and hopefully over the rest of the term we’ll be hearing more about how all of the proposals, workshops and studies pan out.