Academics being one of those professions from which one rarely gets to clock out, I am happy to say I love to teach and I thoroughly enjoy my research. I don't think of my work as strictly segregated from the real world, however, and I believe most all aspects of life are worth pursuing with the same passion, fuelled by the twin drives of delight and concern.
I am myself happiest when on bike, but I am also a strong believer in cycling, walking, and other forms of self-propulsion as the primary modes of personal transportation, and in the concomitant rethinking of urban, suburban, and rural infrastructure. I enjoy improving my understanding of bash, regex, TeX, PHP, and XSLT/XPath in small doses, and still do a bit of web design when an academic occasion presents itself. Every now and again I will spend a rainy day tweaking my configuration of GNU/Linux. During my walks and runs, I like to listen to audiobooks and keep up with knowledge-type podcasts. I miss cinema and the city, but enjoy the forest trails I got in return.
I feel strongly about a number of interrelated global threats to do with ecosystemic and societal sustainability, and understand that the economic drives and lifestyle patterns that have given rise to them are due for a major overhaul if these threats are to abate. I don’t know that I’m much of an activist, but I try to practise personal responsibility through choices in diet, frugality, family planning, and transportation.
My main aim in studying the past is to improve our understanding of the past. I do not bring a political agenda to the subject, but I recognize that it is my responsibility to teach history responsibly, and a constructive occasion to learn about our present selves is always welcome. I am dismayed to read reports that medieval studies is being “weaponized” by the ill-informed as a tool for the exclusion of others. I condemn any and all such misappropriations of the field and continually seek to make my classroom an inclusive and welcoming space; I will not permit it to be hijacked by ideologies of hate.