Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to Work

I think it has just sunk in - summer hols are over, I am back at work for the new term. Next stop Christmas...

I think that one of the features of working in education is that your life is a series of year-long cycles, starting around now - the run up to the new academic year, Freshers Week, the return of the 2nd and 3rd year students, the handbooks, the lectures, assignment deadlines, the assorted problems and crises that staff and students suffer, field trips, the exams, wrapping it all up, then summer arrives again, things slow down, we drift along, take time off, relax, forget everything we know - then it all starts again. I love my job and the people I meet because of it, but right now it is almost like staring down the barrel of a gun.

Most other jobs don't have that - there may be cycles but they will tend to be shorter, possibly overlapping with other tasks, some are just plain repetitive and one week is no different from the next. I have done a range of work, but there is something about the big year-long rollercoaster that I love.

Here we go again!


James said...

Best and most free job I ever had was back when I was a commercial deep sea diver.

Glad that there are some things you enjoy about your work John!

Rock Chef said...

Wow, James you certainly have hidden depths :-0

I know, that was bad even by MY standards!

You must tell us more about that some time!

Logziella said...

I for one am glad to have you back John! It's boring around here without you! :0)

I think it's super important to like what you are doing (work)... we spend more time at work than anywhere else!

Terri said...

Sounds to me like you are exactly in the right place.

Rock Chef said...

It is important to be happy at work, for me at least. I had one job that paid a lot of money, but I hated everything about it, the work, the hours, the people I worked with... Never again!

Ali said...

Christmas!? Sheesh - slow down there John! I am definitely not prepared for that.
My job is one constant stream of craziness, so I never have time to forget about any one thing.
So, um, I know you work at a University, but what exactly do you DO?

Rock Chef said...

What do I do? I am a "Geography Technician". This means I:

Look after our collection of paper and digital maps.

Draw maps when academics need them for publications. A few years ago I was involved in producing a 200 page Atlas showing the history of Kent, lots of maps, some interesting, some not, but a massive task that still gives me a shiver.

Look after our small library of reading material.

Look after our equipment that is used for fieldwork.

Use GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to analyse geographical information, eg population geography (who lives where using different criterea such as race, socio-economic group, age, etc), rural tranquility or the lack of, where our students come from, etc.

Teach students how to use GIS, often helping them use it for their dissertations and projects.

Keep track of student attendence and marks, processing the final percentages at the end of each year and putting these into the central system.

Acting as a local IT trouble-shooter for staff and students (during term time the pained cry of "John!" is very common).

And so on! A lot if different things, an interesting mix that keeps me on my toes, once I have been back at work and remembered it all, of course!

Logziella said...

Wow! That sounds like a great job. Never a dull moment and certainly not doing the same thing over and over again...a good variety. Thanks for sharing! :0)