December 17th, 2003


Study in blue

Seeing hoiho's enthusiasm for his PhD application, and reading marnameow's post about wanting to study again, is really bringing home to me how much I miss studying. I originally wanted to do postgrad work in English, but my tutors talked me out of it (on the grounds that people only stood a chance of getting funding if they got a First, and they didn't think I should count on getting one); so I left, and got a job, and now I'm still in that job, and I feel as though I've achieved precisely nothing in the 3+ years I've been doing it.

The problem is, I don't think I'd know how to study any more. And I certainly wouldn't know how to begin writing about my "current research interests" as I'd have to do if I wanted to apply to do postgrad study -- basically, looking at the application forms and requirements, I need to be doing research in order to start doing research. Which means I should be doing it in my spare time while I'm working ... and I simply don't have the energy. Which, of course, means I'm not capable of doing postgrad study anyway: if I can't make the time/energy to study now, there's no way I could do a postgraduate degree.

I have so many ideas for things I want to write about, but I no longer seem to be able to put them into words. And if I do try to put them into words, the ideas seem to shrink and shrink until they're the kind of ideas that 14-year-olds would scorn to bother with for GCSE coursework.

I wish I could just make myself accept the fact that I'm not an intellectual, and never will be. Yes, I was passable at my schoolwork; that doesn't mean I can compete with adults. ... I wish I could stop thinking altogether.

I was looking for a job...

The man from UCLES emailed to say that they didn't want me for the job I applied for, but they'd be interested to talk to me in the New Year about another potential job that's coming up. They're interested in my ICT skills, apparently... I hope this doesn't mean that they think I'm actually a programmer. (I'm not, and I don't want to be.)

The university Temporary Employment Service might have some work for me, starting in the New Year -- working as a filing clerk for the Development Office, full-time for approx. 1 month in the first instance, paid £6.06/hr. Doesn't sound terribly exciting; on the other hand it wouldn't be ProQuest, which at the moment makes it a tempting prospect. I've told them I'll think about it & get back to them tomorrow; I don't really know whether I should take it or not. I guess ProQuest would probably take me back after a month if I decided the temp stuff was even worse, though.

As for ProQuest ... this afternoon they threw 900+ lines of somebody else's Perl at me and said "Can you look at this script and make it deal with a completely different dataset, please? Oh, and we want a different sort of output as well." No, I can't. I don't understand the script, I don't have time to learn the stuff I need to know because they want this done by yesterday, but they won't take no for an answer. ("It should be really simple, can't you just change the names of the fields in the script?") The reason they want me to do this in the first place? They don't want to have to pay for a software engineer's time for this work. (They don't seem to be listening when I point out that a software engineer could probably make the fixes in 10 seconds, whereas it'd take me weeks to get my head round it.) The guy who wrote the script in the first place got made redundant in September.

I hate this place.
  • Current Mood
    miserable now


Last night's dreams were as irritatingly obviously symbolic as my dreams usually are. I bet you all think I make them up, but honestly I don't. Anyway. Collapse )