Thursday, 25 September 2014

Groundhog 21

Is the music still playing?

Anyway, cogs whirr and brain patterns flash a familiar sub-routine. Click click click.

Thought 1: there comes a time in every profession when the 'Groundhog Day' factor comes into play: the feeling that you are trapped in a time loop, forced to relive and replay the same events, day after day.

Thought 2: the trouble with working in academia is that the 'Groundhog Factor' is calculated in 12 calendar months rather than a mere 24 hours. Sure as eggs is eggs, induction is followed by term one which is followed by Christmas then term two, Easter, exams, summer fieldwork, summer holiday before you are plunged back into induction endless cycle.

Not that I'm complaining mind, far from it.

I love archaeology (have I mentioned that before?) be it teaching it, talking about it, digging it, lecturing about it, reading about it, visiting it, it's all good.

So that's (to coin a phrase) all custard then. Vanilla custard.

Thought 3: it's just that the cycles of groundhogey-ness seem to be moving ever faster (a common complaint I know). A colleague with a cheery, optimistic, 'happy-go-lucky' outlook on life once commented that such certainty in professional matters (i.e. doing the same thing again and again) was undoubtedly a good thing for it indicated job / life security coupled with the pleasure of mixing with the young and youthful (thus remaining forever young or at least never growing mentally old). A rather more pessimistic colleague noted, in relation to the same observation, that working in a university was a bad thing for 'every year you get older whilst those whom you teach are eternally 18....'

....well anyway, I think he got counselling in the end.

Thought 4: the observation that there is a certain structure and formality to the academic year is probably not that novel, but, as I sit here mindlessly tapping on the keyboard thinking on the Groundhog Factor (now there's a game show title) waiting for my new tutees to arrive, I realise just how quickly the year has gone. One minute I was considering the Big Dig theme, to be taken from the Eurovision 2014 list of hopefuls, and then suddenly the archaeological fieldwork began...then it's all over for another year. We dug lots, we found lots and there's certainly lots to investigate further and discuss.

Fingers tap keyboard as notes are prepared...there's a knock on the door. Are these my tutees? It would appear yes...thirteen new faces enter the room.

Groundhog 21 begins.