Posted by Jean Adams
I have spent the last week trying my best to write another grant application in the few spare hours that manage to survive among the sea of student supervision, project meetings, teaching, and helping people to calculate Index of Multiple Deprivation scores that dominate my diary. What I want to do is focus on my grant application. What I’m actually doing is feeling harassed and resentful of all the other things I have to do. So I thought it might be time for a Pollyanna moment and reflection on all the things that make my job great.
1. My diary is flexible and varied. I don’t have a typical day or week or month. This makes it difficult when people ask me to tell them about "a normal week”. And sometimes it catches me out when I forget to check my diary and saunter on into work in jeans when I should be wearing a skirt (see point 2 below). But ultimately I love the variation. I particularly love that I am in charge and that I can say Fridays are working at home days without anyone thinking that it’s totally inappropriate.
2. I get to wear jeans to work on most days. The novelty of this is wearing off a bit, but when I swapped clinical medicine for academia it was certainly one of the most amazing perks. I hate wearing stupid tights. I look fat and short in ‘smart trousers’. Besides, I am not very accomplished at clothes shopping, but I do know which jeans I like (Levi 571 slim fit since you asked - I don't think they make them any more but I have three pairs so am good for a while).
3. I get to speak to interesting people. It would be nice if I truly did spend my days sitting around, drinking coffee and speaking to interesting people. I don’t. However, I do, on occasion, get the chance to speak to some really interesting people. I am currently cultivating a collaboration with an evolutionary behavioural anthropologist sort of person who might be one of the cleverest and most interesting people I’ve ever met. I am also enjoying getting to know our not so new anymore health psychologists. And despite the stupid amounts of driving involved in a regional research centre, I do enjoy hanging out with many of my Fuse friends.
4. I get to travel. Actually I really don’t like the act of travelling. But I like what it gets me – which is mostly getting to speak to other interesting people. I'm just a public health gossip. On my travels recently I have met remarkably interesting and clever psychologists, GPs, sociologists and one guy who certainly thought he was interesting, but who I just found obnoxious.
5. I get to learn new things all the time. Right now I am most excited about the fact that I blagged the time and money to do a Postgraduate Certificate in Science Communication on work. Fantastic teaching, fantastic coursemates, annoying amount of travel and coursework. But it gave me the motivation to start this blog and maybe it will lead to some other exciting things soon.
So there. I am very grateful to the universe for setting it up so that I got this job. Thank you.
Now I need all the other nonsense to go away so that I can write my grant.