Where we are

Until now I have been a creature of habit around the university. I regularly eat the same meals at a couple of places. I sit in the same spot during committee meetings. I take familiar paths between the car park, meeting rooms, cafes and my office.  I have done so repeatedly and unseeingly. I have … Continue reading Where we are

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We need (to be) poets

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hear Ronald Barnett, emeritus professor of higher education, talk at the University of Sydney. Based on his trilogy of books, he spoke about the university as a feasible utopia in an age of supercomplexity. One of his comments has stayed with me and I have … Continue reading We need (to be) poets

Housekeeping (at home and work)

This post is a way of exploring some contradictory thinking about housekeeping. In my last post on strategies for working during tough times, the small, shallow, short-term tasks I identified can be understood as a type of academic housekeeping. At work, as at home, women tend to do more of it, and it holds less … Continue reading Housekeeping (at home and work)

Strategies for working during tough times

Last year, while the centre I worked in was being disestablished, I watched an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine with my son. My daughter was railing against the absence of girl trains on the show. I replied: 'those carriages being shunted are the girls.' In that mundane moment, I had a startling insight: the … Continue reading Strategies for working during tough times

Mark one box only

International readers will find themselves happily distant from the ridiculousness of same sex marriage postal vote here in Australia. At my university, Academic Senate issued a carefully worded statement: The Academic Senate respects the diversity of opinions in relation to the issue of marriage equality. The Academic Senate encourages and advocates respectful debate around the issue … Continue reading Mark one box only

The liminality of graduation

I love graduations. I celebrated my first graduation—from a humble Bachelor of Arts—in 1999. From memory, I first participated in an academic procession in September 2012. I enjoy the pomp of graduation: winged gowns, polyester mimicking the textures of velvet and silk, the ceremonial mace, graduands’ inappropriate shoes for cobblestones, an operatic intermission, the occasional … Continue reading The liminality of graduation