Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ah well, could be worse...

My grandmother used to remind us that there was always someone worse off than you, when you're feeling a bit sorry for yourself. That thought is supposed to cheer you up, not that you actually care in that frame of mind, of course...

So being off sick from work with a stomach bug (yeuch... bleuch) isn't nice. It's worrying me watching work piling up before my very eyes (well, not literally, I'm not hallucinating as well), and wondering how I'll be able to reschedule things into the non-existent time available when I'm better isn't exactly great either.

Then I read an article in The Guardian about the sorry state of Higher Education in this country, reminding me that "Quality in higher education also requires job security for those delivering it. Casual contracts breed instability and personal anxiety." Yup, especially when you're ill. And a mention of the "thousands of hourly-paid teaching staff who prop up our creaking system". Yes indeed, I know them well. And a cheery reminder for anyone about to complete a PhD... "In the UK, 95% of postdoctoral researchers are on insecure contracts and many cannot get a mortgage because their employment is so insecure." Well, at least I've already got the mortgage.

Lucky that I actually enjoy teaching and research in my college, or I'd wonder what the hell I was doing it for after reading that.

But at least I haven't unwittingly had a penis tattooed on my back by an evil tattoo artist, after expecting a logo of my favourite football team, like this poor Argentinian footie fan.

See, things could always be worse - you just need a sense of proportion. Gran was right.

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