Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! …. and Write! An ode to #SUWT

writeSometimes it’s difficult to focus. We live in a time with many (digital) distractions that we can use with the click of a mouse. And if we can resist that, there’s always some laundry, groceries or cleaning to do. And it’s not just that: sometimes wanting to do things right can be debilitating: where to start if you want to avoid making mistakes.  Don’t get me wrong, I work hard,  I always meet my deadlines, and always get things done, but it can take a lot of willpower and motivation to do so and to stay on track. And I don’t mind doing that, because I’m passionate about my work, what I want to achieve with it, and about my future career, but it’s still difficult, especially when working on something for which you are the sole project manager: a PhD. And to add to that: FROM HOME. ALONE.

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The end is near… And that’s difficult. How to get out of the field without any feelings of guilt?

webcam-toy-photo4I have to, at one point, tell my fieldwork organisation that I’m leaving them. And I am dreading the moment already. In fact, I have postponed it for as long as I can. Ideally, fieldwork is finished in the 2nd year of the 3 year PhD process. However, since it took me a while to figure out what I should, could and wanted to focus on after collecting data for a while, I felt it was necessary (which was supported by my supervisors) to keep on going for just a bit longer, 4 hours per week, to get some extra data to support my argument. Continue reading “The end is near… And that’s difficult. How to get out of the field without any feelings of guilt?”

The face of Despair – Job Centre Plus and its effect on people

Despair
dɪˈspɛː/
noun: despair; plural noun: despairs
The complete loss or absence of hope.
“…a voice full of self-hatred and despair”
despair
Source: Psychologytoday.com

This morning I met a gentleman whose picture could feature next to this dictionary entry, and next to this post, obviously. Despair. It was all over his face, in his eyes, in his voice, his body. He was in his forties, and Job Centre Plus had sent him to our job club. He had to come, and had to be there by 10. Otherwise, he’d get sanctioned. That was it. Regardless of the job club being situated quite the distance from where he was living, leaving him relying on public transport, for which had to spend his last few quid.

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The binary choice: employment…or employment…

Digging deeper into society: the surface doesn't show us everything there is.
Digging deeper into society: the surface doesn’t show us everything there is.

One of the things people frequently ask children, from almost the moment they can speak is ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ Not many children will answer this question with the attributive adjective “happy”; they will mostly answer by naming concrete professions, those they see directly around them, such as policemen, firemen, doctors, nurses. Professions of which they are told they are good and important, and they want to be good and important too.

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