Today I finally (after nearly 2 weeks) actually got the rejection letter from the interview. There’s a saying up here which more than one person has said to me over the last few weeks (including another today), “what’s for you won’t go by you”, which is really starting to grow on me. Of course it’s wishy-washy handwavy nonsense, but it’s a nice sentiment and is reassuring, to me anyway.
In other news, there isn’t much in the way of other news. I had my first OU tutorial today, good students, it went well. I’m not going to apply for the OU job I talked about in my last post, as one in Scotland has turned up unexpectedly instead so that’s one of tomorrow’s tasks, to apply for that instead. It actually suits me much better than the north of England one (as well as the one I’m doing already), so if I can get that I’ll be really happy. HD has had a horrific cold, and hasn’t moaned at all (if it had been me I would have been milking it for all it was worth, as he well knows!). But that’s about it. Maybe next week will be more exciting.
A lovely weekend as we had good friends staying – they were here for a wedding so we only had them to ourselves today, P’s birthday, so we took them to the fabulous Burrell Collection. This is the first time I’d been since getting my fancy camera, so it gave me a good excuse to play a bit with that. Because I wasn’t using flash and the light is quite dim to preserve the exhibits the results weren’t all as good as they could have been, but I have made a flickr set of my favourites which can be seen here if you’re so inclined. The picture I’ve put up on this post is a painting called Prancing Grey Horse by Theodore Gericault. The mezzanine with the paintings was the one bit of the collection HD and I had never managed to visit so it was good to rectify that. This painting was my favourite, but there were also quite a few Degas paintings which I also liked and a lovely Cezanne too amongst other less well-known artists.
In other news I still haven’t heard from the interview but am not holding my breath, and in the meantime am thinking again. Options at the moment include to take on tutoring another Open Uni course (but there’s very little available up here at the moment, only one possibility which is in the North of England region for the ‘next step up’ course from the one I already tutor on), and/or to apply to another uni here to do the nursing course to get into the area of practice I really want to move into. Both wouldn’t start till way after the thesis is handed in, which is good, but as I am currently wanting to sleep for England I’m not sure it’s a good idea to go for both – tutoring 2 courses and doing a course as a student whilst also doing the day job will be a lot. But the extra income would be helpful. Decisions, decisions. If I’m going to apply for the OU job it has to be in by Thursday. Argh! No pressure then 🙂
To the question “How did it go?” about yesterday’s interview, I think “well it went …” is probably the best answer. It went OK, I didn’t feel like I did badly, am pretty sure I didn’t do amazingly, there was a larger pool of shortlisted candidates than I was expecting so the chances of there being none who were more experienced than me are pretty non-existent, I learnt plenty about what interviews for this sort of job are like … and I feel fine about it.
Thing is, now I’ve been there I’m not sure it’s what I want after all. It would be a long way to commute, and I’m not sure I’d want it enough to uproot for it. I’ll hear by the end of the week and will be very surprised if they offer me it. If they do I will have a dilemma. There’s lots about the job that would be ideal, and it would be a fantastic career move. But but but but.
On the train on the way home I had pretty much persuaded myself of the advantages of staying where I was and convincing myself it wasn’t that bad after all. Then I woke up this morning from a dream about one of my client families, which really isn’t the greatest start to the day. I wouldn’t miss that, that’s for sure.
I mentioned on facebook yesterday that I told HD I wanted us to be Tom and Barbara from The Good Life. Actually I think I’m at least half serious (even though I’d probably be more likely to channel Margot). I can dream …
In the meantime, my new OU students start this week, they seem very keen – long may this continue! I have nearly twice as many students as last year, so will really be earning my keep this time!
Thanks to everyone for their lovely and supportive comments. It really is fantastic to know people are rooting for me round the world.
I’m really really looking forward to writing my acknowledgements 🙂
You may remember ages ago I had a dilemma about applying for a job. I applied, and then didn’t hear anything for ages. But I heard this morning. I have an interview in a month’s time – 4 days after submission day! So there won’t be much in the way of relaxing immediately after submission as I will have a 15 minute presentation to prepare, but I guess thinking about that will be a more productive form of procrastination in the meantime.
Yesterday I spent a fair bit of time chopping up the Chapter of Doom and working out which bits could go elsewhere. I’m actually amazed, given how much I hated writing it, given how much as a chapter it just doesn’t work, given how compared to other chapters I (and my supervisors) could tell it was the wrong way to end the thesis, given how much a dent in my confidence all this gave me, just how much of it works absolutely fine in the existing chapters and how much of it can be just copied and pasted with minimal editing. Which, at this late stage in the day, is something of a relief! I should get all that done tomorrow, and hopefully a good start on the final draft of the megachapter, then it’s just the introduction and conclusion to go. Which hopefully will be straightforward and not requiring any drama queen histrionics. Though I can’t guarantee that 🙂
I think I’m starting to lose count. Or the will to live. Or something.
Today’s thesis thought: I need to figure out the balance between the local (what my respondents said about their situation) and the global (where they fit in the wider scheme of things). My chapters on my respondents are pretty good (though I say so myself), but I’m less confident about the wider theorising. Not because my data isn’t good, and worthy of theorising (on the contrary it’s both), but because I’m not confident about the language I’m using. This is the reason why I don’t always feel like a proper academic (well one of the reasons).
I’m thinking lots about nationalism and gender (the bigger picture) and wondering if my media work has coloured my analysis too much towards the bigger picture and away from the local of my respondents.
In other news, I applied for an academic job ages ago. After a month I assumed I’d not been shortlisted, but I emailed HR and they have told me the applications are still with the department for shortlisting. So all is not lost (yet). I’m not holding my breath, and at least with the thesis stuff going on I haven’t got time to get too worked up about it.
In other other news, work (current proper job) is bonkers at the moment.
When I’ve posted on here before about w*rk and job-hunting etc, and also when I’ve mentioned it here or discussed it on Ian’s blog (amongst others) I’ve been fairly adamant that I won’t start looking for another job till my thesis is written. This has also been the general tack of conversations about it at my current workplace (they know that health visiting isn’t my lifelong ambition and I won’t be around for ever). I have let a couple of interesting-looking jobs pass me by, partly as at the time I’ve been so stressed about thesis writing and partly because I don’t want to let my colleagues down. However today I spotted an ad for a full-time job in a field that I would like to get into (my dream job would be part-time, but there aren’t that many around so I’ll take what comes) and I am seriously thinking about applying. The closing date is next week.
Although I haven’t made any concrete commitments to my current employers (other than to work hard and do all my hours and do the job to the best of my ability of course), I had made a sort-of commitment to myself and therefore sort-of informally to them that I’d be unlikely to start looking seriously for a job until later in the year. This is the source of my dilemma. I’m probably going to apply for this job as they don’t come along that often – of course there’s no guarantee I’ll even get shortlisted, it’s an academic job and I’ve not been shortlisted for any others I’ve applied for – on the logic that if I do get shortlisted the interview experience will be useful, if I get the job it will be a plus of course (!), I am feeling less stressed about the thesis now that I am going to be ditching the Chapter of Doom, and I know that my colleagues will be supportive. The other week my manager pointed out a job that she’d seen advertised that she thought might interest me, and the rest of my team are always asking me how the thesis is going and if I’ve seen any other jobs (of course they might just be trying to get rid of me, but I don’t think so!). They’re also very good at saying stuff like I should do the thing that is right and best for my family and me, and that in my position that’s what they’d do, so I know that they’d be thrilled for me if I were to get another job in an area that interests me more. I know that applying would have the blessing of my colleagues, but I still feel a little twinge of guilt, particularly for the practice I’ve recently started working with and the families.
But hey ho. Whether I get this job or not, the world will keep on turning. I’m not that important.
I haven’t said anything much about student-ish matters for a while, but mindful that this was after all the point of this blog, here goes. Sorry for another list, it’s about all I can manage.
* I have essays to mark. Not many, and they’re the last ones this academic year, but as usual I’m not in the mood. They’ll be done by the weekend though, and then I need to think about helping the students get ready for their exam.
* I submitted a chapter of my thesis last week, still awaiting comments. I’m worrying that having thought it was fine, actually it might not be. We’ll see.
* Due to having sat on the aforementioned chapter for weeks, as I was too tired after working full-time to finish it off and start the next one, I find that I have used up pretty much all of my ‘slippage’ time (I am meant to submit at the end of September, but was hoping to submit a month or two earlier. Now it looks like it will be right up to the wire). I have just started working 4 days a week, so I need to be ultra-productive on the day a week I go into uni. But I’m really thankful that I have that day, I’d be screwed without it.
* The book for which I wrote a chapter has a publisher (can’t remember if I said that already here, probably did) – I need to get my final polished chapter in by the end of next month.
* I saw my dream academic job advertised last week – part-time, wanting community nursing specialist, research-based department as well as practical etc, in Scotland – but am not going to apply. It’s to start in August, and my thesis has to be my priority. Plus I’d feel guilty if I left my job too soon after changing to this new practice. If HD doesn’t get a job elsewhere and we’re still here, then I’ll start seriously looking for work at the end of the year. Hopefully by then I’ll have had my viva and be well on the way with corrections, so will be much less stressed and tired. Now is not the time to be applying for jobs.
* That is all. The end of September is 4.5 months away. That’s not very long.
As I mentioned before, in May I will be reducing my hours at work by a day a week, and that means that I will be changing the GP practice with which I will be working (though I will be in the same team so won’t be so much as moving desks never mind office or anything). One of my colleagues has been meeting with the main GP partner during the vacancy, and last week when they met he asked her to ask me to pop into the practice sometime so they could welcome me. I went in today, and was not only welcomed as a colleague, but also presented with this:
They told me they wanted me to feel part of the team and wanted me to feel welcome and a full part of the practice, and seemed so genuinely happy to have a health visitor again, I was really touched. I hope I can live up to their expectations! (not to mention their previous HV, with whom I worked for a couple of months when I first started and who was a. lovely and b. a really good HV).
I know I moan about health visiting and it’s not really what I want to do long-term. But being appreciated and welcomed before I even start will make such a difference.
So I met with my line manager, and she has said that I can move to 4 days a week from May. Thank you for your supportive messages, I appreciated them all very much.
A friend posted this on facebook and I just had to share, I challenge you to watch it and not smile:
Tomorrow I am meeting with my manager to discuss my application to reduce my working hours (so that I can have a day a week to write my thesis, before I entirely forget what it’s all about). So any prayers, candles, good thoughts and vibes, etc much appreciated, thanks all.
[Tues 9th pm. Thanks everyone. Here’s an update: meeting was cancelled, am hoping to have it tomorrow instead. Sigh]