East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Fear of the future

I joined a new MOOC last saturday.
For those not in the know, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.
I’m an enthusiastic supporter of online education, and I think learning something new is still one of the best things you can invest your time in.
And when you’re stuck in the backwoods of nowhere, it helps feel a little less intellectually isolated.

So starting on the second week of January, I’ll be taking a 12-weeks course called Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate.


This is a pretty tough course, judging from the program, but it’s also very much up my alley – I’m an environmental scientist, and resilience has been one of my pet topics (my first research project proposal – that was obviously refused as “too complicated” – was about using plankton fossils to gauge ecosystem resilience).

It will be fun. Continue reading

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Learning Chinese

chineseThey say the first day of September is the true “New Year’s Day”, when it comes to work and projects.
It might well be.
It’s certainly true for me – autumn is always a highly-charged time of the year, as far as I’m concerned.
Pity it’s not the same for my country – so, while I’m still sending out CVs and running around looking for a new job, I look around and I keep busy.

And that’s the reason why, in two weeks, I’m starting a course of Chinese. Continue reading