Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head
I’ve been off the blog for a few months much as I feared in the New Year. That post’s empty promises to myself were driven by the doubt I’d still be a real person after having a baby. I blog therefore I am. Or was.
It turns out that the me that I’ve been jogging along with my whole life has made a reasonably seamless transition into motherhood, but typing one-handed while holding a baby has meant some aspects have suffered. There’s not been much writing of any kind even though I have tons of things I could be writing. Even now, mid-blog, my mind is on other things.
Namely, IATEFL next week. Or two weeks, or whatever that time thing is where one day or week is differentiated from another.
Things on my mind pre-IATEFL 2015:
Everyone warned me (well, warnings are to your face and these were mostly to my partner so probably only partly qualify as such) that I wouldn’t give a crap about IATEFL in post-newborn flush.
They were all right.
But, as irony would have it, I absolutely cannot back out because, alongside Russ Mayne (@ebefl), I’m speaking not just attending and the talk is titled Where are the women in ELT?
There’s no way I can let the answer be “off having babies”. We’ve put so much work into the research and construction of the talk on an issue we think needs much more time in the spotlight that not going would be hugely disappointing. And would let Russ have all the glory.
Of course, IATEFL have a crèche. Oh, damn, that’s right, there’s no facility whatsoever for families with children at a conference that runs across the weekend and, for some, the end of the Easter school holidays.
The solution is roping in the aid of the two grandmothers, neither of whom live in the area so hotels, meals and transport have to be paid for. I expect I won’t attend that much of the conference but the day of my talk and some prep time, I’ll need help and am very lucky to be able to call on them.
On the other hand, if I’m going to do this, I figure do it properly. Is it possible to attend talks with a baby? What about breastfeeding? Nappy changing? Since ELT is predominantly female, you’d hope all these things are going to be accommodated at its biggest event. How much are we really geared up in the UK for parents to manage their lives with a child? And …can I sell any articles about it to parenting magazines?
I’m pretty concerned about this one. Very few clothes hold up well in these conditions and breast pads are in serious need of some innovation. Forget about making your fortune in ELT/edtech, tomorrow’s millionaire is the person who can make those useless padded discs stickier and uncrunch-up-able.
Always a problem of course but pencil skirts used to be the answer. Pyjamas, men’s shirts and slippers just aren’t going to be at their best up there on the podium. I resent having to buy clothes I can look good in while pot-bellied (but not in that good-pregnant-way) and anyway, I don’t have time to go shopping. That’s another reason for taking baby to talks. People will realise why I don’t look my usual shape.
At least it will all give me some blog fodder for a few days. I’ll co-opt the IATEFL hashtag and let you all know how it’s going. 🙂
If you want to come along, Where are the women in ELT?, is Monday at 18:00