Academented Christmas, day the nineteenth – book review

Granted, this is not so much a review as an excerpt from a review used as a blurb. There are days when the PhD questions their own interests in using clear language to explain complicated scientific proceedings to other people, and the wisdom in choosing to do so in academese (~academic writing, with it’s sometimes jargonated forms). The book in the image below has apparently stirred something in the following reviewer.

Saying so much, yet absolutely nothing at once.

I imagine that this is indeed an excerpt. Otherwise, it is doing a good job of being quite general, but in a positive way. Much like horoscopes. Want to know what book it is? Look under the jump.

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Academented Christmas, day the seventeenth – around campus

Even though the PhD occasionally (although not really) wants to maintain the impression that they practically live in their office, the reality is that there are supervisors/colleagues/friends/training courses/ free lunches to be had in other buildings. On such a day, myself and a fellow office-dweller walked past the following in a foyer.

Everybody has needs. Even academics.

At least we know that the restrooms in the Ellen Wilkinson building will be well-stocked for a while.

Academented Christmas, day the sixteenth – snacks

The relationship between postgraduate students and free food can be compared to that between moths and light, or magpies and glittery things. However, even postgraduate students must grow up and acknowledge that a freegan diet consisting of university catering only is not very good for one’s health. Previously, one way of checking whether a PG was really ill or merely had “man-flu” was to bring up the potential of a free buffet for lunch. This method of checking for illness is now far less reliable, as we eschew “guess-the-filling” sandwiches for homous, pitta bread, and juices. However, the incessant coffee-consumption is still all the rage, and if snacks are readily presented at one’s desk, well, it would be rude not to.

Snacks are for (PhD) life, not just for Christmas.

One of the office members has coined the term “recreational eating”. Yum. Yum.

We are health-conscious folk, but we also love snacks.

Did I mention that omnivores are a dying breed in my office?

Academented Christmas, day the fifteenth – travel

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. By that I mean I like snow. Some days, it won’t snow. Instead, we get hail, which, alongside sleet, takes the top post on the list of my least favourite types of precipitation. (I think I’ve mused about precipitation since my second-year undergraduate physics essay, which was about clouds.)

All HAIL the weather!

On these days, I would rather work at home in order to avoid going outside and being pelted by tiny, cold, vicious pellets from the heavens. However, today I am guaranteed to be out, as I am starting my pilgrimage to friends and family elsewhere in the world, over the festive season. If it snows at any particular pit-stop, I will make an extra update on the blog. That update will be smug and gloaty – you have been warned.

Academented Christmas, day the fourteenth – “upcycling”

Just like I need to care about layouts in my writing – especially the differences between academic, blog, and letter-writing, because I still write letters y’know – such as where certain images or graphs go, and whether the title sheet is correct, I am a rather big fan of laying out presents carefully. Gift-wrapping. Making things look neat. There are a few people in my circles who understand when I say, “you could probably buy me gift-wrapping paraphernalia instead of an actual gift.”

This year, I would like to make a change, because in the end, wrapping involves a lot of paper that could arguably be better used elsewhere (or left as the original – trees). This is certainly a “making the pennies count” way to sustainability, but we all have to start somewhere, so don’t be surprised if your present arrives wrapped in the paper in which you wrapped my birthday present.

Re-HOO-se, reduce, recycle.

Academented Christmas, day the thirteenth – Lucia

Belated greetings for Saint Lucia. As a Swede (demonym for Sweden, not the root vegetable), December 13th is a day that I associate with a nearly unnecessary early morning, followed by singing/playing the violin to an audience in a Church or in care-homes for the elderly, and being given saffron buns for the trouble. All of this before school starting at 8.30am. Present-day me looks back at these traditions and laments being far worse at keeping a reasonable sleeping routine than little me. I leave you with this song from the televised “Lucia-morning” from a couple of years ago, that is a favourite of mine.