After a hectic period of exams, January was a welcome break. Passing all necessary theoretical courses in December, I’ve since taken “Academic Skills and Research Proposal,” a ten-unit practical course designed to prepare students for our upcoming internships and thesis writing.
For the past few weeks the Junior Doctor strikes have been a hot-button topic in the office. Today was supposed to mark the first day of said strikes, but they’ve been postponed. For more information:
Background information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34775980
Strike called off (temporarily): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34965603
Getting involved in research
Yesterday was a little different than a “typical” Monday, as I took a ½ day of annual leave to go to Exeter. Why? I was meeting with a researcher at the university to discuss volunteering with a project entitled “Remembering the Mental Hospital.”
The Devon County Mental Hospital was constructed during the early 1840s, however soon deteriorated due to overcrowding and staff shortages. This paved the way to a long-lasting crisis exacerbated by the effects of two world wars.
Overview of the hospital: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fbgy4
Closed in 1986, researchers at the University of Exeter (among other research organizations) are now developing a digital archive consisting of both written correspondence and oral histories by staff and patients. Through this project they are exploring mental illness from a social perspective and tracing changes in societal attitudes towards mental healthcare.
General project: http://dcmh.exeter.ac.uk/
I will be supporting the “Remembering the Mental Hospital” digital archive by transcribing oral histories from people affiliated with the hospital. This is a really interesting project that not only looks at attitudes towards mental healthcare from a historical perspective, but also explores memory and the practice of oral histories.
Specific project (oral histories): http://rememberingdcmh.exeter.ac.uk/about
This should give me a unique insight into local history, as well as provide further experience with research and transcriptions – which is useful whenever (and if ever) I apply for graduate school!