In March 2021 I went back to school, starting an Honours course (part-time) at the University of Tasmania and winning a scholarship to study a collection of letters and papers held by the State Library.

Since then I’ve finished four units (achieving a GPA of 7), thereby completing the coursework component of the course.

Humanities Research Methods armed me with ‘ideas, knowledge, and skills key to doing research in the Humanities’. It required me to write an annotated bibliography of key sources for my thesis, a thesis plan and an essay about my discipline.

To build upon my ‘grasp of disciplinary methods and knowledge through focusing on a special topic’ (travel writing) – that was the aim of the Advanced Reading Seminar, for which I wrote a critical review and an essay (a travel narrative).

For Communicating Research I prepared a pitch and proposal for a research project unrelated to my thesis, whose findings I presented in the form of a podcast. The final assessment task for this unit required me to create and deliver a Pecha Kucha conference presentation, which I based on my thesis topic.

The Negotiated Study unit gave me an opportunity to complete my exegesis (the theoretical component of my thesis). In preparation I submitted a proposal, before writing the actual essay.

In 2021 I was joint winner of the University of Tasmania’s Morris Miller Prize in Australian Literature, an annual prize awarded to the student deemed to have best Honours research project in Australian literature.

This year I’m writing my thesis, a creative response (a work of fiction) to the collection I’m studying. I’m also committed to producing several public programs for the State Library, and these will probably take the form of an exhibition, a public talk and a journal article.

It promises to be a challenging and rewarding year.