Saturday, October 26, 2019

I am a mature student

Sometimes a tiny voice calls to me through the void. "Where are you, NWM?". "I am here, my dear", I reply, brushing tears from the tiny face of the tiny person who has called to me through the void. "Do not be afraid".  Yes, loyal readers and fans, there is no need to be afraid: I am here.  Here is what I have been doing in the year since my last post:

1. Having a dog (called Alan)
2. Doing an MSc in Organisational Psychology.

I will address each subject separately.

1. Dog (Alan)

I have wanted a dog for as long as I can remember. Because I am completely freelance and part-time (a.k.a. a virtually unemployed part-time student), Alan (who is a Cairn terrier) moved in last November and I can honestly say that now I understand why people say MY DOG IS MY HEART and DOGS ARE PART OF THE FAMILY and suchlike while crying into their dog's neck (while the dog is thinking, HAVE YOU HAM UNDERNEATH THOSE TEARS?).

He is a merry little soul who likes a lie-in, and I am completely unashamed to tell you that he has an Instagram account and I love him. Because of him I walk 2 hours a day and have someone to lie on my feet when my husband (a French-Canadian veterinary histopathologist) refuses. He has markedly improved our physical and mental health, despite the farts and inability to bring the fucking ball back or stop chewing the logs.  In return for his general merriness, he is allowed to sleep on the sofa (but not the bed), is fed medium-range dog food, and is allowed to run amok in the mud with his village pals, including Shadow (lithe Labrador), Louis (gigantic Retriever) and Fudge (small unruly Jack Russell and escapalogist).  ("SUCH fun to have dogs with fun names!")

The picture you see above is of him watching me writing this post. His nose whiskers are wonky because he got a thistle stuck on the right hand side and we had to cut it out.  

2. MSc in Organisational Psychology

Organisational Psychology is basically about how people behave at work. I told my friend Liz I was thinking of doing it and she said, "why didn't we think of that before?". She was right. It is my Calling, as perceptive readers may have deduced from the title of this web-log, and as loyal readers will have observed from my Previous Work-Related Content

I really like it but I am not going to be an academic because from what I can see, being an academic nowadays mainly involves:
  • students behaving like customers and saying things like "this is an expensive degree - the quality of the sound recording is a disgrace, I expect more of the content", and "does the title count in the wordcount for my research proposal?"
  • not getting paid much and being really busy and tired (etc) while people who are not academics still say things like "yes but in the REAL world and in REAL jobs..." , like writing lectures and giving lectures and having idiots like me go "what does that mean?" and marking exams and doing research and supervising research and trying to get published in journals no-one actually reads, not even your mum, and TRYING to make sense of things like for e.g. WORK is not a real job
  • being misquoted on the telly/media etc
  • being dissed by Michael fucking Gove
none of  which I would like. Equally, I am not that way inclined which, I have realised, is nothing to do with being clever or not: either you like academic shizzle or you don't, and either you want it to be your life or you don't.  Also, no-one has suggested it and/or said (in hushed tones) "monkeys can do PhDs, you know", while suggesting 'special meetings' with supervisors at a certain college of the University of London.

Anyway, now I am at the beginning of my second year (I am doing it part-time so I can also work in order to pay the fees) so am an expert on everything to do with work and people at work. If you like you can send me your work-related questions and we can see if I come up with better answers than I would have done 10 years ago.  Either way, I will throw in the odd ref. to for e.g. Foucault and Bourdieu and say things like "sorry no I cannot come to your party, I am having my ontology removed", or throw in chit-chat about for e.g. mimetic isomorphism like it is not something that it has just taken me a week to understand, while praying that the dog will eat the book called "Philosophies of Organizational Change" that I keep looking at but have not opened.

Pip pip!



katie said...

Gosh, it's as though we live parallel lives. My dog Sparky celebrated his first birthday on Saturday (he 'celebrated' by posing for a photo in the special birthday bandana sent to him by the Burns puppy club, while looking unimpressed). He is named after the electrician, and only does not have his own instagram because then mine would only contain photos of cakes.

I can confirm that being an academic is pretty much exactly as you describe.


Katie, Alan wishes Sparky the most excellent of birthdays. Also, I am very glad I have represented your endeavours correctly. How our lecturers put up with the STUPIDITY I do not know.
Ever your admiring,


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