Becoming A Runologist
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!