Week 101: Analysis and muffin-making

I am writing this post at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and am about to take my flight to Tokyo. I’ll have two weeks’ holiday in Japan and make trips to different cities with my family. The past week has been hectic (end of the semester, data analysis, an interview in London and packing), but hopefully, I can relax when I get to Japan.

One of my 2018 New Year’s resolutions was ‘to teach Japanese again’. But it didn’t materialise because of my four months of fieldwork, preparations for three conferences and the priority I gave to completing draft chapters. But, this week, I went to an interview for a teaching position at a university in London (looked like an interview at the last minute – just one week before the semester ends) and I received an offer by email for the position, just 15 minutes after the interview. I feel so grateful and very happy that I will be teaching again from January.

So, Monday was devoted to preparing for the interview and taster session in front of the interview panel. On Tuesday, I spent time in London attending the interview, feeling joy, walking along the River Thames, and enjoying a sushi dinner at Miyako (I loved it!) in Liverpool Street.

 

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In London, being the backside of the Savoy, towards the River Thames
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Sushi dinner at Miyako in Liverpool Street

 

There wasn’t a moment left over for feeling intoxicated with satisfaction. Instead, I spent the rest of the week analysing data by applying the Conversation Analysis (CA) method. The tasks are so repetitive, but I truly enjoyed it.

 

A brief note on CA

CA is the sociolinguistic study of the talk produced in social interactions. In my studies, I apply CA to study the talk between the individual and the health professional during clinical consultations. CA is a social science approach that aims to describe and understand the overall structure, and the sequence structures or designs of the individual’s turns in the talk. CA greatly helps interpretation of the speech acts, from a speaker’s intonation, pitch, tone of voice and mood. This has allowed me to analyse it from an interactive dimension. What I care about the most is to not wash out the context of the talk in the process of making transcripts, so I constantly go back to the original audio data. I’ve just started doing this work, and CA is something I will devote myself to for the next three months.

 

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Benedicts

Last weekend, Luca and I went to a local restaurant, Benedicts, and had a wonderful dinner! When we were having Prosecco, they brought us freshly made crisps, which were very nice. The dishes were sublime – I had ‘Richard’s Perfect Christmas Roast’ for the main course, and Luca had ‘Cornish Cod’. We shared them, and he kept saying ‘very good.’

What I really loved the most was the restaurant’s hospitality – the welcoming atmosphere, friendly conversation, and the staff’s knowledge. The whole experience was simply great, and I would definitely come back again at New Year!

 

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Prosecco and freshly made crisps
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Whole roasted quail, baby parsnip, garlic & thyme jus

 

 

Cheese and pea muffins

I baked as usual, even when doing my packing. This is my all-time favourite ‘starter muffins’ for dinner at home. The combination of cheese with pea and the light texture of the muffins works really well with an aperitif like champagne. I’ve continued to experiment with this recipe a lot, but I still need to improve the texture; more softness would be great. I added a half-and-half mixture of parmesan and cheddar cheese. They always taste fantastic.

 

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My achievements in week 101

  • Worked on an analysis of one case.

Goals for week 102

  • Enjoy the time with my family and friends in Tokyo!
  • Work on an analysis of one case.
  • Make transcripts of one case.

 

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