Tag Archives: Academia

My Ex-BF does everything that I do

Just had a quick chat with my ex-BF (from years and years ago – we were together when I was 19 and he was 15 lmfao, so basically nearly 15 years ago) who I’ve been helping with his PhD-studentship application.

I just found out that he got his studentship and is off to New Zealand – he’ll be sending me an email soon.

Anyway, L. (that’s his name’s initial) is a funny one. I have had quite an influence on a number of people in my time, especially, younger men/boys when I was younger. With L., I did the following:

  • convinced him to drop his apprenticeship (German: ‘Lehre’) and go back to school to do his A-levels (German: ‘Abitur’) – to his parents’ complete horror! At the time, his parents had just built their own house and needed every penny, so they were not impressed when he told them he’d stop work and go back to school. They hated me as ‘bad influence’ and we always had to sneak in at night. At one point, we even ran away for the week-end (lmfao). How romantic and how very naive!
  • influenced him politically (to be a left-wing vegetarian – he’s still very anti-capitalist, much more than what I am – I’m a money slut these days)
  • sent him ‘Die Ordnung des Diskurses’ (Foucault‘s Order of Discourse), thus influencing his choice of BA/MA subject (Media Studies, Politics, Sociology): He tried reading it when I first sent it to him but he didn’t understand any of it. Through his studies he’s learnt to grasp the concept, naturally
  • encouraged him to use the Internet/technology (though to this day he is still very much in the online stone age. He only installed Skype today, and uses the Internet mainly to ‘check his emails’ (w00t – that’s so 1996).
  • set an example with my PhD studentship and helped him with his own PhD studentship application (he will now be doing a PhD in – you have guessed it – Media Studies, just like me).

I’m sure it’s not a conscious thing, but it’s quite creepy really. I mean he doesn’t try to emulate me or fancy me or anything like that – I haven’t seen him in about 8 years and he’s in a very long-term relationship. He just seems to see me as some kind of good example to follow, in terms of ‘going your own way’, escaping from the fucking German countryside, wanting better for himself than rotting in a village working in a factory or whatever.

And it is true: If he hadn’t met me, he would NOT have done his A-levels, and he would therefore NEVER have gone to University (in Germany, there is no such thing as ‘mature student’ where A-levels aren’t required to study. You’ll ALWAYS need A-levels – Abitur or Fachabitur. There’s no way round it).

It all would have been very very different, and his mind and his way of thinking would be very different too. His life, from the age of 15 onwards, took a different route than the one his parents, his village life, his social surroundings, and his upbringing had planned.

My convincing him to do his Abitur (A-levels) really was the starting point.

Last Post from my University Office

Today for the last time, I’m blogging from the office at my Uni. I came here earlier after picking up my hardbound thesis from the bookbinder’s (yum, it looked very phat and stylish). I handed in my thesis to registry, so they can pass it on to our library, then signed some kind of release form so that the British Library has access to it, and finally, ended up in my office.

Once here, I started the long process of printing out another copy of my thesis – all its 326 pages – so I can get a hardcover version bound for myself. Thus, I sat here for ages, trying to do some other stuff at the same time. Nearly ready to go home now. I was going to get another print-out tomorrow but might not have the time. The extra copy would be for my mum, so she can see in black and white my achievement!

Anyway, brain a bit fried right now, so I’m offski 🙂

When do I have to start paying Council Tax?

I’ve been a bit confused as to the exact date from when I’ll have to start paying council tax 👿 . My graduation was on Friday, but my student card doesn’t expire until 8th of September, which I suppose is when the new term starts.

So, I can either:

  • go and tell the council that I graduated last Friday or
  • don’t tell the council anything until the official expiration date on my student card

hm…I think I’ve just found the answer via Google. Apparently, students are

expected to pay council tax from the date of their graduation ceremony.

Bummer! My free ride is over!

/me goes to write a letter to the council

PhD – Over and Out

That’s it now. The PhD-topic of my blog has come to its natural end. I could still do some kind of reflection on the overall ‘journey’ etc. blah blah, but I think I’ll leave it for just now.

I’ve been there, done that, and wouldn’t do it again!

I’ll have to finalise a few things next week, e.g. taking the hardbound copy of my thesis to the library, and provide a list of keywords for their indexing, but that’s it. There’s nothing major left now. I’ve thrown away all my folders and all articles etc. that I printed out over the last 5 years.

The worst thing about doing a PhD was the amount of effort and time it took. Intellectually, it really isn’t that challenging. But fitting it in with the rest of your life, while earning money, paying the bills, and making time for a relationship is very hard indeed.

I’m all for University and would encourage everyone to do a first degree, but anything thereafter, especially a PhD, is pretty pointless.

EXIT Stage Left.