Freshers Week as a Final-Year, Academented PhD

  • How are you all so young?!
  • I wish you the best in those years bridging youth and adulthood.
  • “Work hard, play hard” is, in short, the way to go.
  • Although don’t forget to have nights in to watch films or afternoons to read [fiction, luxurious fiction].
  • Please learn traffic etiquette.
  • Not from the drunk man waving his hands in the middle of traffic on a Friday night.
  • Taking after more senior students (on the traffic etiquette front) would be more preferable. We’ve always thanked any bus-driver who didn’t give us an awful journey when alighting, and we LOOK BOTH WAYS before crossing the road.
  • Please share the width of pavements and corridors. You won’t be excluded from your new group of baes just because you give way to somebody walking in the opposite direction.
  • “Bae” means “poop” in Danish, so its newfound popularity in the English slang vocab will never cease to amuse those who enjoy scatological humour.
  • Including yours truly.
  • Because I am an adult.

(Take the last line seriously at your own peril.)

People I Like and People I Like a Lot Less

The latter:

  • People who smoke at bus shelters while waiting for the bus in windy weather.
  • People who put out their cigarette just before stepping on the bus.
  • Sexists. Especially on buses.
  • Racists. Especially on buses.
  • People who don’t know how to share the pavement with fellow pedestrians.

The former:

  • People who motivate me to work.
  • People who motivate me to play.
  • People who indulge my egocentricity.
  • People who snack.
  • People who truly know how to give constructive criticism.

What to do on a staycation

  • Avoid academentia
  • Work
  • “Work”
  • WORK!
  • Vurk
  • Not really work
  • Read – fiction
  • Read – “faction”
  • Binge read
  • Watch television
  • Actually spend time in the outside world that isn’t part of your commute to-and-from the office
  • Exercise
  • Change your mani/pedi/facial horticulture/visual aspect every day
  • Sleep
  • “Sleep”
  • Blog?

The Referendum, one week on

Between all the opinion pieces written about the referendum result – for the UK to leave the EU, for those who avoid politics altogether (or have been living under a rock) – this short video from the BBC about conflicts within a family who have voted differently strikes a chord. The children of the family who are of voting age say that they cannot win against their parents in arguments concerning whether to remain or to leave, but mention in the individual interviews that [their parents] are not “bad people”. They are merely voting for what they think will be the best for themselves and (hopefully) the people around them.

Throughout the campaigning for the EU referendum, many people have been called out for being “bad people”. Between “the immigrants”, a large number of politicians, and the England football team, that is a lot of bad people, without even beginning to delve into the reasons why the Remain and Leave camps are talking down each other. Many opinions disguised as facts are flying through the air, and many actual facts are going ignored. I am not aiming for an op ed piece. As a referendum that has been touted as one where “feelings won over facts”, I am going to get emotional about this.

  • A week ago, I joked that however people voted, I was going to take it personally. While I know it’s not personal, I did feel a little less welcome in my adopted home of 13 years (which is longer than I have lived in any other country) last Friday morning.
  • Being told to “move on” is frustrating, even though it is in my nature to “move on”. It was one of philosophies on which I was raised by my parents. Do not show that you care too much. However, if we apply the theory of “voting for what they think will be the best for themselves and (hopefully) the people around them”, and one of the results of the referendum is the despair/disdain of most of the people around me, I am not going to take it lightly.
  • I should note here that as an EU citizen, I did not have a vote to cast, but frankly, my main concern would have been security. I am privileged to have family and friends all over the world, and knowing that they are safe (and happy) is paramount to me. I would not recommend parting from your group to walk home alone late at night.

20 C

Observations on a university campus when temperatures rise to hover around 20 degrees (Celsius) at the end of May:

  • Joggers.
  • Joggers wearing tank tops and shorts.
  • Joggers wearing leggings and wind-breakers.
  • “Joggers” eating ice cream.
  • Students studying on the lawn.
  • Students “studying” on the lawn.
  • Students studying on the “lawn”.
  • People wearing t-shirts, shorts, and sandals.
  • People wearing flannel shirts.
  • On top of a tee.
  • With a duffel jacket over the whole ensemble.
  • (And jeans. They’re proper.)
  • People-watchers eating chicken curry.

Things Learned in April

  1. If you have an alarm in your house, turn it on and learn how to operate it, no matter how complicated it is.
  2. Police in the North East of England will use “me” as a possessive pronoun. Go with the flow and enjoy the northern charm.
  3. There is nothing charming about having to clean up after other peoples’ cats.
  4. Good weather will appear when you have to do tiresome things. This is a common part of sod’s law, but worth reiterating. So be off to do your annoying tasks and take a break in the ensuing sunshine.
  5. Solo road-trips are better when it is lighter outside. Even if you are on your way to deal with tiresome things.
  6. Car-singing will make everything better.
  7. Burglars will go to hell. Alternatively, for the non-religious, they should have to take at least one rail-replacement bus for every train journey they make.