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Academic parents - welcome to the Senior Common Room of Requirement

(206 Posts)
BoffinMum Sat 05-Feb-11 15:23:17

Welcome to the Senior Common Room of Requirement. You find yourself in a discreet space with a view over rolling lawns from large period windows, and a roaring log fire, with the College dog asleep in front of it. A number of comfortable Chesterfields and wing-backed armchairs are thoughtfully positioned around antique occasional tables. A selection of reading matter is on the medieval chest near the entrance, including New Statesman, Economist, New Scientist, Nature, Prospect, THES, every conceivable daily paper, Spare Rib and the Socialist Worker. Peters, the College butler (sponsored by a successful alumnus with a top domestic employment agency, so at no cost to the public purse) is on hand to fulfil all necessary demands. This is the place for MNetters of academic leanings, and post docs and student parents are welcome to knock on the door should they require academic or pastoral advice. Sit back, quaff your sherry, Fair Trade coffee or even a smoothie made from fruit grown in the College grounds, and enjoy.

AnnieLobeseder Sat 05-Feb-11 19:14:05

How lovely, don't mind if I do!

<finds the comfiest chair nearest the grub and plonks self down>

BoffinMum Sat 05-Feb-11 19:18:30

<Proffers a sherry>

I say, are they gas filled condoms I see floating out of that chimney there????

AnnieLobeseder Sat 05-Feb-11 19:21:31


BoffinMum Sat 05-Feb-11 20:16:48

(Reference to Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe. Zipser does this as a means of escape from the clutches of a rampant bedder, if I recall correctly).

AnnieLobeseder Sat 05-Feb-11 20:29:03

Um, ok.....

<backs away from BoffinMum slowly>


BoffinMum Sat 05-Feb-11 21:50:19

Come back!
I have port!
Let's have a balloon debate and decide which member of the current cabinet ought to be ejected ...

muddleduck Sat 05-Feb-11 23:02:58

I hate port.

Things always end badly when port is involved.

muddleduck Sat 05-Feb-11 23:03:53

But fgs pass the claret.

qwertymcwerty Sun 06-Feb-11 08:13:38

Is it too early for a large sherry?

<adjusts dusty academic gown>

BoffinMum Sun 06-Feb-11 11:01:21

Qwerty, you could have a pre-sherry?


Now a question. In your institutions, is the period from 1 November 2007 to 31 December 2007 being counted as an interregnum for the purposes of the RAE/REF, with only publications from 1 January 2008 being counted for the next one? I ask because this is the case in my institution, and I can't believe for a minute that this was Gvt guidance.

muddleduck Sun 06-Feb-11 14:18:47

Can't help with that one.

Any easier starter questions?

BoffinMum Sun 06-Feb-11 18:28:15

Well back from town now, where I was buying bits and bobs for DS1. In John Lewis I bumped into another academic, one of my research heroes and someone I really admire. So what did I do? I started babbling like a moron. "Hello," I said, "it's me, we met recently at xx".

Blank look. Finally came the polite reply, "Oh yes, of course".

I continued in an equally Mr Bean-ish manner. "I have four children, you know. This is one of them."

WTF? I mean, it's like announcing, "I'm 93 you know," or as my mother does when she runs out of conversational opening gambits, "I'm German you know."

So much for sounding cool and intellectually incisive. blush

guyane Sun 06-Feb-11 19:24:57

I think we're all too knackered to chat but more than happy to settle into the old burgundy velvet armchair by the log fire and put my feet up on the dog. Cheers wine. That's me for the evening. Do carry on... smile...

BoffinMum Mon 07-Feb-11 15:52:24

<muffled sound from under a pile of papers>


Anyone want to share some of this ere marking??

roary Mon 07-Feb-11 15:57:19

We are starting ref from 1jan 2008.

Shouldn't that port be going round to the left??

BoffinMum Mon 07-Feb-11 18:08:55

So if you have a blinding paper that came out between 31 October and 31 December in 2007 it doesn't count?

Also neither does my colleague's monograph.

That can't be right.

roary Mon 07-Feb-11 19:03:58

We are doing a dry run, announced this week. It says 1 jan but I will ask our ref guru for you!

BoffinMum Mon 07-Feb-11 21:39:11

If it's 1st Jan I am kicking off as I will have lost one of my best publications because of an administrative convenience.

teahouse Tue 08-Feb-11 20:28:05

Ahh but did it have impact ;o)

BoffinMum Tue 08-Feb-11 21:14:55

Do NOT start about the ruddy impact thing!

drivingmisscrazy Tue 08-Feb-11 22:14:10

can I draw up a chair? and look mildly bemused and befuddled as you trade acronyms (I'm overseas, you see - well, only over one small sea, but still). We don't have RIF or RAF, but we do have KPIs and FEC and the now outlawed CLIT (something and legal and information and technology course: it almost got all the way onto the books before anyone noticed blush) and RAM and...well, wanders over to drinks cabinet muttering.

In humanities, in Ireland (catastrophic economic meltdown, lost 30% of salary in the last calendar year, piles of pressure coming down the line...different miseries, but miseries none the less) - terrible staff student ratio, very poor admin support (a 1/3 of the number say that Warwick would have, with a student body which is slightly smaller), so although I am now fairly senior (though don't look it, I like to flatter myself) I still do an awful lot of tasks that are basically clerical...

Like many of you, I am finding it hard to balance motherhood and career (DD is 2), particularly the research part.

dontrunwithscissors Wed 09-Feb-11 15:44:57

<<pokes head around the door>>> psst, I've posted a message over on Off the Beaten Track about my research, work and sabbatical options. I fear it's very long and a bit boring, but if anyone feels like hopping over there and giving me their opinions, I'd be very grateful....

teahouse Wed 09-Feb-11 18:11:39

Sabbatical - wow, lucky you, and options - that's something I dream about ;o)

My academic life is more like yours DMC (lots of admin, cr*p pay, silly contact hours and virtually no time for research, certainly no money for conference etc). I combine work with being a single mum (eldest just started Uni, youngest doing GCSE's soon) so have no life!

My Uni is looking for 7% in staff cuts (around 50 people in total - doubtless not in senior management though!) - nightmare times for most of us I guess, but espcially those of us in the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, and those of us at little Unis ;o(

BoffinMum Wed 09-Feb-11 21:13:11

Good gracious, I have found a box of Balgian truffles here. A student must have left them for us. <nom nom>

CLIT?????????????? WTF???????gringringrin

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