For starters, the kind of person who immediately wants to follow up the question “Who am I?” with lyrics from Les Miserables. I really enjoy singing, even though I’m not very good at it (this isn’t digging for compliments, I have too many friends who are better singers than I).
I also enjoy bopping around to music, especially cheesy music. In fact I generally bop around all over the shop – I believe I’ve been described as “intense” but never as “reserved”! I love a good ceilidh, and listen to a fair bit of folk music, when I’m not listening to video game sound tracks (especially remixes of songs from the Legend of Zelda) or symphonic metal. I’m willing to try new stuff too, and a bit of jazz and electronica have found their way onto my playlists recently. I can’t properly play any musical instruments, but can sometimes get a recognisable tune out of a guitar or piano – just don’t ask me for anything beyond my limited repertoire.
In my spare time I’m a comedian, with a background in improv, but these days I’m more likely to be found performing stand-up, especially with a scientific bent. Getting a good laugh is a great feeling – and running a science comedy group and giving other comedians a chance to develop and perform is great too too.
To wind down, I enjoy playing games – both video games and board games. I’m terrible at completing the former, and wonder how some of my friends have so much time on their hands. In the world of board games I enjoy quite a mix, although I’m definitely a fan of worker placement games, and enjoy a good co-operative game too.
I love reading fantasy and sci-fi, including some quite “trashy” stuff (the X-Wing series of novels are a particular favourite for easy reading). I am also a massive Terry Pratchett fan (funny books so densely packed with ideas and references – I don’t know how he managed it). And as with so many people, I have a spread of ideas for books or shows that I’ll definitely get around to writing one day.
I’ve started learning crochet, but I’m very much just beginning, and trying to work out how to do it without contorting my hands into a painful position. I’m sure it’s possible though.
Although I trained as a physicist (including a PhD that took far too long), I moved into physics education, and now work in computing education for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It’s not where I expected to end up, but I’m enjoying feeling like I’m making a difference. I’ve ended up particularly interested in how we learn – and I’m thinking about that in a much wider sense than just the academic sense I may have focused on when I was younger.
I think I need to wrap up by answering two questions – why am I blogging at all, and what’s the point of all the above. The answers are somewhat linked.
I’m planning to use this blog as a space to “think out loud” – and hopefully to find someone listening (and if I’m very lucky, start some conversations). It feels a bit arrogant, in much the same way as performing stand-up does – to assume that someone is going to want to listen to me. On the other hand, I’ve seen some of the nonsense that people put out on the internet, and I like to think that I can be more interesting than that. Or at least more coherent and factually accurate.
Using the blog like that also means that I don’t feel comfortable limiting myself to just one thing. This is my space, and to be a representation of me it’s going to end up covering a range of things – most of which I probably haven’t even thought of while writing this brief summary. Many people will find this discombobulating (I also am apparently the sort of person who uses the word “discombobulating”) so I thought I really should be up front about it. This style of random enthusiasm is also part of who I am – I’ve been likened to the character Tigger more than once – and if you find that off-putting, then so be it.
For those of you who like the sound of that, and plan to stick around: Welcome! I hope you enjoy hearing what I have to say, and that somewhere in the topics I bounce around is something that resonates with you.