Another Thursday, another set of classes for Environmental Archaeology. This morning is the second practical class for Pollen Analysis, where the students will be working through some simulated pollen assemblages, to get experience of the process of identifying and counting grains in mixed samples. Usually on a Thursday afternoon I’d be teaching the third years dissertation skills, but this week they are getting a session from the library staff so I am free to attend to other things. That doesn’t mean I’m not busy though. I’m making of use of the ‘free’ time to select the shortlist for a postdoctoral research position on my NERC project, which officially started on the 1st November. The shortlisting panel comprises myself and two other department members, and we will go through all the applications and narrow it down to 4 or 5 who will be invited for interview. I also have to fit in reviewing the paperwork for my Personal Research Plan meeting with our director of research tomorrow. I have to look over everything I said I would do last year and say whether I’ve achieved it or not, and what my plans are for the following year. Then there is my new PhD student, starting in January. As they are international I need to keep a close eye on the progress of the university paperwork needed for the visa application. Last but not least I need to check in with my new undergraduate lab intern. It is their first week on the job and we need to go over training, record keeping etc. Did I say last? I also have minor revisions on a paper due for next week!