Yesterday I had one of those emails. It was from a good friend who is in Barcelona for a conference; deep talk & tapas, as they say. She’s just on the good side of that long and – to an outsider – utterly opaque journey that is the dottorandi / dottorando experience.
It set me thinking. So later last evening I sat looking out into a Dublin sky that was cloudy and equally opaque, pondering the outcome of our ongoing visit from one of those new governance spawnings that will, I fear, increasingly overshadow life in the university. I got to wonder about it all. What drives us into this academic life, what keeps us in the bear pit? How can we be so invested in a business so many think they know – with such absolute certainty – so much about. And also that we are doing everything wrong! Maybe I should have stayed in that ‘good job’ it nearly broke my late father’s heart to see me cast aside all those years ago.
Lives considered, ill-considered and unconsidered jockey now for a place in the the frame. And I’m left a bit despondent by it all – not for the release of finally finishing with the dottorando stages but with the expectations that now seem less and less tenable around the life which follows.
In the world of the university, we are on the brink of losing so much and very few seem to either know or care.