Questions for 2018

Photo: John Spencer for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.   I am not very good at making (or keeping) new year's resolutions. Last year, I wanted to feel optimistic, calm and confident in most areas of my life, and instead I felt pretty bad. This year I can't recapture the blithe thinking that I … Continue reading Questions for 2018

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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

Bad feelings

This post returns to an idea from Rosalind Gill's review of Les Back's Academic Diary. She asks about bad affects: Academic Diary is ... overwhelmingly positive ... Where are the other, less palatable, affects and behaviours? Where is the envy, the rage, the nastiness, the bullying, the bad behaviour, the competitiveness, the mean-spiritedness, the colleagues who dump on … Continue reading Bad feelings

Nurturing academic orchids

Last post I promised more on acts of kindness that have the potential to change academia from a place marked by undercare to one that is nurturing (especially at times when people are not entirely productive or unencumbered). Here goes. Dancing spider orchid (Caladenia discoidea), photo: Mark Clements, CSIRO I attended a panel discussion entitled Life: … Continue reading Nurturing academic orchids