My working desktop these days

I am in the final stage of data analysis now, even as the daylight hours get shorter, the weather cools and we start welcoming new students to town.

Whenever I get sent interesting ideas and readings that might distract me from writing, I chuck them into the ‘Post-PhD’ folder, to give me something to look forward to after this is done. I can’t wait to pursue different questions–there is a lot of scholarship to be done out there!

One thing I plan for next year is to commit to a blog series analysing important educational questions in an accessible way (i.e. less jargon, more memes, more fun). Do send along your questions/recommendations of what you’d like me to answer! 🙂

The “Intimate Outsider”? Reflections on Researching Teacher Communities, by an Ex-Teacher

I’ve just written a guest post for the FERSA Cambridge blog. Do check it out, as well as the other pieces on that platform! Most helpful for research students especially in the field of education.

I really enjoyed writing this reflective piece on identity and fieldwork relationships. Although my participants and I are not “friends” in the ordinary sense of the word, I am very fond of them and hope to be a useful person in their lives.


Photos of rambutan and other things included


‘Destruction is a form of creation’

– Graham Greene, in “The Destructors”

Oddly enough, as I reach for my keyboard to write something for this blog, the quote above was the first thing to come to mind. The line is from a really intriguing short story I taught my Literature students, written by Graham Greene, set in postwar London. It’s a line that’s stuck with me ever since, and I hope to show you why.

Continue reading “Transitions”

There and Back Again – Return to Cambridge

Here I reflect on my journey to Cambridge for the first time in 2015, how it changed my life direction, and why I am now returning to the university as a PhD student, after a year as a teacher-researcher in Malaysia.

ON 18 JULY 2016, I TURNED IN my room keys at the Porter’s Lodge of Homerton College, said my goodbyes to the smiling lady at the front desk and exited, dragging two pieces of luggage which held all my possessions. Casting one last wistful look at the stately Victorian buildings, I greeted the cab driver and was taxi-ed off to catch the train. So began the first phase of my long journey home to Malaysia. I remember that as I sat in the train and felt it accelerating away, I found myself wondering if it had all been a dream.

Wake me up.

Continue reading “There and Back Again – Return to Cambridge”