Hot Times at Interview Central

Monday

Had planned to go to campus to get my ILLs, but decided since I’ve got to be there for a meeting on Wednesday that there’s no point driving 30 extra miles these week just to collect books, when I can do it all at once.  Hence today was one interview and a lot of transcriptions.  My hands are quite sore from typing so I’m off to warm them in the sun.

Tuesday

7 interviews lined up on a very bright and sunny day.  So all the windows were open, the fan was blowing and the shades were most definitely shut.  As it was one of the interviewees postponed so I only had 6 of them in the end, but that was more than enough time spent on the phone.  Did manage to squeeze a little transcription in, but had promised myself a treat once I got through the phone sessions.  Said treat was a 14mile walk in the blazing sun.

Think I might have to think of less painful treats…

Temperature in the conservatory-office (conservaoffice?) was 47DegsC when i got back. Aye-yi-yi.  And my digital thermometer’s time readout had melted.

Wednesday

Was amused to note that Apple have been ruled to have fixed e-book prices with publishers in the US today in news.  Shocking, fancy publishers acting like that (he added sardonically).

Today in between interviews and transcriptions I headed into uni to pick up some ILLs and other books, but also to have our last scheduled Dept of English, Culture and Media PhD meet up.  And like last time it was slim pickings with just two of us turning up out of a possible 8.  Two of the more regular members sent apologies but heavens knows where the rest of them are – they never tend to respond to emails, not sure if it’s them being rude or a cultural difference, but it doesn’t help when the idea of the group is to help us support each other

Ah well, we had a good mutual support and exchange session all the same, and then planned out what we’d like to do in the next academic session.  Let’s see if we can whip up some support.

Thursday

X Marx the Spot
X Marx the Spot


Today once more I enjoined in battle with Dr Karl Marx’s works, though this time mediated through the wisdom of David Harvey and his book A Companion to Capital.  More readable than the last book on Marx I read, but slow going all the same as I tried to get my head around use-value, exchange-value etc.  However, come the evening I ended up having a discussion with my very non-academic neighbour about life in general and was delighted to hear him express a number of the Marxism concepts (all be it in laymen’s terms), so that made my day.  Well that and the fact we spent nearly 90 minutes chatting over the fence!

The other interesting fact of the day was my gardener came mid afternoon.  It’s a bit distracting trying to read when someone’s working on your garden, though today I started getting metaphysical/ethical guilt trips as I sat reading about productivity, labour and exploitation while I had someone working for me.  So very much a day of practical experiences brought to life my theory.

Did one interview in the middle of the day too, but there was nothing about Marx in it sadly.

Friday

Not the greatest of starts to the day, as one of my two remaining chicken’s passed away in the night, which left me feeling far more upset than I thought it would.  She’s been ill for a while and I’ve been feeding her water through a syringe the last couple of days since she just gave up drinking.  She’ll get a chicken state funeral later today 😦

Also scanned through this article for prospective PhD students 10 truths a Supervisor Will Never Tell You.  For the most part it’s a good read for would be and 1st year PhDs, although I couldn’t stop myself roaring with laughter at number 9 “Weekly supervisory meetings are the best pattern”.  Given supervisors at my university are technically assigned 16hrs a year to devote to their student (and as I was informed, this includes time spent reading/commenting on submissions etc), there’s not a snowballs chance in hell that that could happen.  I even suggested a weekly or biweekly meet up before being put straight.  Given the workloads of academic staff at my place, I’m surprised they get to go home to be honest! Personally though I’m happy enough with perhaps every month or 6 weeks (which reminds me, I’m a bit overdue for one – but want to get to the end of these flipping interviews and get my thoughts straight first).   All the same, go have a read of the article and let me know your thoughts.

Interviews and transcriptions the rest of the day* which takes me to 77 institutions (and 78 interviews) I’ve done.  I really think, bar any of the other people who I’ve got penciled in as “pending” getting back in touch that this might be it.  It’s been a wild ride, and have to say today’s interviews were a bumper crop of info and exchange.  Not to mention one of my interviewees who was speaking to me in the middle of her office being relocated – now THAT’s dedication I’m impressed by!

Also heard from the Repository Fringe where I’m going to give a short (pecha kucha) talk, co-chair a discussion group and probably write some bloggage type stuff as well.  So it’ll make my trip north of the border at the end of the month all the more fun.

*Also went to the public library in Loughborough to return/renew/borrow some books.  Asked for my PIN number (which I’ve long since lost) and was charged a pound (£1) for the privilege of getting 4 numbers.  Honestly, even academic publishers don’t charge a character rate that high – bit outrageous, but I do love the staff in there so I paid politely.  If we’d charged students for getting their PIN back at any library I’d worked in, I suspect there might have been a riot!!!  Still a little bit of creeping neoliberalist capitalism at the library seems to be the perfect capstone on my week!

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