The joys of research, again

Friends-locked for rantytime about actual people who can easily be identified. That's not brave, I know, but while I can't afford to go ranty about this on a public space where my superiors might read it, I'm a little tired of not being able to even talk about it.

So.

The actual joys: having finished writing the first draft. Happy!

The not-so-joyful: writing to the head of the department to ask if they might have a hundred euros to spare to help me go to the conference I'm attending in Boston, and getting a very curt reply, telling me that I should try to understand that they have no money and that I should know that by now since it's all in the reports of the yearly department meetings. Which is all very good, but…

1) Seeing as the department doesn't give a crap about graduate students, and we barely get a mention in those meetings anyway, I don't bother reading the reports, for all that concerns me,

and 2) This would be so much easier to swallow if money didn't seem to suddenly appear out of nowhere when the department has to organise a cocktail for 50 people, with champagne and all. I understand that cocktails help you show off while giving money to graduate students to help them, you know, do their job, doesn't. But I'd have an easier time not getting pissed off if the department wasn't so eager to brag about how many conferences their members plus the graduate students have taken part in last year, and how many articles they published. I'm basically emptying my own pockets so that the department can take credit for the work *I* have done (without, of course, mentioning my name or even the fact that I'm a grad student), and then tell me to sod off when I ask for a little help. And no, I'm not exaggerating. There was not swearing in the reply, but it really was that curt.

There's a French proverb that goes, 'Turn your tongue in your mouth seven times before you say anything'. I'm still in the process of turning (whatever that's really supposed to mean) before I write a reply to the head of the department. The best part is, of course, that since I'll be looking for a job as soon as I defend my dissertation, I can't afford to part on bad term with influential professors, so telling that guy exactly what's on my mind right now is not even on the menu.

Which makes me all the more eager to get a satisfying job in a nice university soon, just so I can tell people exactly what I think about their wiping their feet on their students without having to fear for my career.

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