Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye – reflection on 12 months

Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye!” – A Scots expression meaning “’What’s for you will not go by you’, as in ‘What is meant for you by fate won’t pass you by’” Listen and Learn Blog

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Dean Village, Edinburgh

A year has already gone by since I moved to Edinburgh. I survived Semester One! I survived a Scottish winter! I have even bought my first home.

Helpfully, I had a few months to settle in before the start of the academic year. It all came flooding back – powering through September and October with the winter vacation a distant but glowing promise. But added to the mix; house hunting, for an actual grown-up house to buy with an actual grown-up mortgage.

A year on I have some good achievements under my belt, I’ve built up my network at the university, and have successfully bought and moved into my new home. Autumn term was hectic with training sessions and workshops. Now we’re in Spring and things are calmer. I’ve still had lots of requests from students for individual meetings about their dissertations, which I particularly enjoy; I love to hear about all the varied topics our students are investigating.

Systematic reviews (SR) have become a much larger part of my life. In my last job, I sought out some training on a librarians’ role in SR, and in this job I’ve moved from that theoretical knowledge to the practicality of giving advice, reviewing search strategies, and offering my expertise as an information specialist on an SR team. This last point hasn’t yet happened to me, but is likely to come about as I know my close colleagues have been involved in SRs in the past.

There are a few things on the horizon. I’m co-presenting a workshop at the EAHIL (European Association for Health Information and Libraries) conference in Cardiff this summer. I’m hoping to catch up with my Welsh family then, too. Requests for teaching in September and October are starting to come in, with a few particularly exciting ones in the pipeline. I’m most looking forward to again being involved in the Wikipedia assignment in Reproductive Biology, helping students develop the skills to find sources to support their Wikipedia articles on underrepresented medical topics.

Edinburgh is still really really ridiculously good looking

I’m also looking forward to moving my teaching beyond simply working with predecessors’ teaching materials to developing my own, and creating brand new sessions. With a move to a six year Medicine degree, all third year medics now take a year studying outside the medicine curriculum. Many ‘intercalate’ in biomedical sciences (including Reproductive Biology, above), and the university has created new programmes to offer these students. Lots of them emphasise research skills and include an information literacy/research skills aspect.

It has been an exciting first year. The reason for the particular Scotticism to start this post (apart from it being said to me a couple of times after my offers on houses were rejected) is that my move up to Edinburgh has felt like it was “fur me”. The year has gone by very quickly, yet also feels like longer than just 12-and-a-bit months.

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