To my Inspiring Students

We are in the middle of the examination period here at the University of Birmingham and while many students are worried and stressing about sitting exams and hoped for or feared grades, I feel it is only appropriate to take a few minutes out of my rather busy marking schedule to thank my students. My teaching and my research are integral to each other, and I am forever grateful to my students for asking questions which I cannot answer, for such questions often form the root for more research. It was endless discussions about the position of peasant women in  the later medieval village which finally prompted me to write a paper about this issue which was published in the wonderful volume edited by Cordelia Beattie  and Matthew Frank Stevens, Married Women and the Law. Last year some students asked me some rather incisive questions about the care of orphans in the medieval village, so thanks to them I am currently working on answering at least some of those questions. Teaching, I am convinced stops my research from going stale, so I would like to wish all our students the best of luck in their exams, and thank you, and please keep asking me things I have no answers to!

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