Becoming A Runologist

January 13, 2011 at 11:10 PM 2 comments

I am a runologist.

I love saying that 🙂 or writing it. It gives me a warm fuzzy glow inside.

If you’d told me as a child that this would be my future role, I would not have known what it even was. But if you’d have explained it to me, I would have been really excited that I would be one.

When I was doing my Medieval Studies degree I would have been even more thrilled to know this would be my fate as I assumed it was an unattainable dream. Mostly because there are very few runologists in the world, in the region of a hundred, give or take an unknown number.

Also because of my disability, which had stopped me considering any career goals. It was a huge achievement going to uni at all, let alone thinking of a life beyond it. But that is a subject for another day (I think it was Tuesdays, health?).

But that all changed one day, months, maybe a year or two, after graduating with a high 2:1 in Medieval Studies. I was reading a book, of all things about horse riding, not remotely related to runology. It was about how to achieve your dream, a riding dream was assumed, but being a runologist was the first thing that came into my mind.

Then it outlined a series of steps for how to achieve that dream, which I had still considered impossible.

I can’t remember them exactly, but it was something like to write down what the goal was, then define the goal – what would it take to be able to call myself a runologist in this case. Then to outline a series of steps to achieve it.

When I saw it all written down like that, it actually looked possible!

It blew my mind that it could be something that could actually happen!

The steps I wrote down were something like:

1. find out more about the MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies at Nottingham Uni, where there were actually runologists and runology was included in the course of study. I went to an open day and spoke to Prof Judith Jesch about becoming a runologist (she is now my main supervisor has a cool blog too!).

2. do the MA. Luckily for me, I could study part-time, which made all the difference with my medical problems. An unexpected bonus was to be able to study runology at Oslo Uni for 6 months on exchange.

2. go to the 6th Runic Symposium.

3. do a PhD in runology.

4. present a paper at the 7th Runic Symposium.

5. write a runological article and have it published.

6. as a bonus, as not all runologists manage this, discover a new runic inscription (see the Why Knotrune? tab above).

I have achieved 1, 2, 4 and 6 plus 5 if you count web publication, which I would in this case as it had to go through a process of being accepted. And I’m over half way through 3, although technically it’s still an MPhil as I am in the process of upgrading.

So I can confidently say that I have achieved the goal of becoming a runologist!

Just got to finish the thesis and get a book published now…

So, what do I do as a runologist? Find out next Thursday!


Entry filed under: Runology. Tags: , , .

So here’s the plan! The Wild Plughole

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Caroline  |  January 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    I never knew this before, i enjoyed this post, it was very interesting. And have i ever told you how proud i am of you?

  • 2. murraylaidlaw  |  March 21, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    That’s brilliant, well done and I hope very soon that will have ticked off all your “runologist” goals. What then though????


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