How often do you reflect on what you’ve learnt in a given period of time? My fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology ended last week. In the final days I reflected on what I’d learnt during the experience. One of the outcomes of this reflection is a work called ‘Educational Elements of a POST Fellowship’ which you should be able to see in the link below. In the form of a periodic table, and built around the symbols of the elements, this piece illustrates some of the different skills, facts, and pearls of wisdom I learnt during my time at POST.
In the actual periodic table, the actual elements are categorised according the kind of element they are: alkali metal, transition metal, noble gas etc. So, true to that form, I categorised the educational elements of my time at POST:
- If you want to learn about parliament or politics, look at the purple boxes.
- The blue boxes will give you some general and some niche facts.
- Some of the things I learnt whilst researching my briefing on forensic language analysis are to be found in the orange boxes.
- There are a couple of nuggets about London in green; however, unless you’re planning to visit Walthamstow or are likely to make the journey from Herne Hill to Victoria, I’d say you won’t get much out of these.
- As for the pink boxes, these are skills that I acquired, so reading these you will either be envious, or, more likely, simply raise your eyebrows in shock that it is only now that I am developing some of these skills.
- Finally, if I’m perfectly honest, the yellow boxes are basically in-jokes for my colleagues; however, if you’re after mild amusement or intrigue, then read these.
Now, as useful as they are to me, these 118 educational elements are of limited use to you.
Working at POST did enable me to bust three myths that I had previously thought to be truths. These relate to offices, writing, and the fate of people with PhDs. In my next three blog posts, I’m going to expand a bit on these myths: how I busted them, what the truth is, and what this means for you and me…