As usual I will leave it to my old pal at Crabby Road to tell the story in a picture worth the proverbial... but you know me, I am not short of a word or two on the topic either.
Ah the joys of technology.
Two hard drive crashes.... who'da believed it?
Well really it was only one and the second as a consequence of the first. But let me just demonsrate what it means to have BMD and be atempting to function in the 'real world'.
The actual workload I have whilst officially on three monthe leave of absence includes:
- Writing 50-60,000 words draft of my novel
- Creating a major web site of International Conference Proceedings (with a second Conference occurring simultaneously... the reason the inaugural isn't live... the academic responsible threw it to me with a two week lead time!)
- Creating a second website for a friend... again with two weeks lead time - the same two weeks, before her story aired on the ABC TV, so that there was a public call point for contact and info.
- Creating my own updated website to accompany job applications
- Doing the actual job applications including updating a seriously non-functioning CV
- Writing three refereed journal articles (not begun yet)
- Refereeing two academic journal articles (done, at least)
- Writing two refereed Conference papers (one national and one international... half done)
- Finalising the pre-publication draft of a jointly authored academic journal (online and published... yeah)
- Keeping content live on the Swinburne Post Graduate Writers network FB page so new members from other states can gain something of benefit also.
- Keeping my own FB page live and of use to colleagues and scholars living and studying o/s.
- Keeping on top of my RSS feeds and emails filtering out research data, calls for papers, conference notifications, new journal calls for submissions (ongoing) and the ever infuriating spam.
- Keeping track of useful research material from O/S conference proceedings and attending one run by QUT's CCi in Melbourne last week (now chasing those feeds and recordings).
- And lastly supposedly applying for a writing fellowship for this summer.
Yep ,and that's just whilst I am ON LEAVE!
Being back doing the PhD in Decmeber adds....
- researching and writing final draft of exegesis
- writing and redrafting novel draft
- attending symposia
The first list is the 'own time' list of duties which are conveniently looked at as key selection criteria for employment, under the guise of collegiality, contribution to discipline knowledge, cross-institutional and industry linkages, and community involvement and contribution.
The actual workplace tasks really fall simply...
- Teaching, lecture preparation
- Student advice and academic guidance
- Quality audit administrative tracking via paperwork or online survey data
- Teaching quality audit tracking via student feedback data and 360 degree surveys
- Attending discipline, department, faculty and campus admin meetings (and social events... for collegiality and demonstration of collegial commitment)
- Presenting at Conferences, running symposia, mentoring junior academic staff (or students)
- Doing your own research and publication (for productivity audits and research active status)
As a sessional, it is valued by the University as worth $90 gross per hour, but no more than ten hours a week or I will compromise my PhD candidature. (In my current situation because I am a 'bad' (read slack and troublesome) PhD candidate ZERO sessional work!
Then if I am lucky enough to gain a lectureship after the PhD I might beworth a whopping $80k gross... for a ninety hour + per week workload.
Is it any wonder people in the 'real world' often query my sanity?
I know I do.
Hence leave of absence... an existential crisis if you will, and one all normal people can have!
Yet, because I am openly diagnosed as BMD, the nameless they assume I just can't cope and am breaking down!
I am having a bloody break believe it or not
And NOT A HOLIDAY either.
Then let's just throw in a little guilt....
Non-timely completion of PhD after being awarded a PhD stipend...HOW DARE I?
Even with some months left in the STANDARD FOUR YEAR PERIOD OF CANDIDATURE! Not pulling it in in three and a half... HOW SHAMEFUL AND DISRESPECTFUL....AND UNGRATEFUL!
SHE MUST BE CRAZY. Told you 'we' shouldn't have accepted a crazy candidate.
Then lets add in....
crippling financial distress... surviving on Disability Pension of $580 per fortnight. Yep you read that right. Paying off car, intenet access, funeral plans, car insurance, a silly thing called food, medications and supposedly private health insurance and a student loan. Yep, easy as... just need to do some cash in-hand house cleaning, ironing or freelance writing in my spare time... oh yeah, that's called sleeping time.
Next the clincher (and how I began this blog)
The wonderful USB external hard disc drive that has been my life saver for just over a year... and yep... here comes the brand name... WESTERN DIGITAL MY PASSPORT pocket hdd crashed with everything on it.
Not a problem you say... still got backup on laptop HDD.... you'da though wouldn't you, especially with two partitions on the HDD, one simply for data, away from applications.?
But alas, no; the problem with the WD is that it crashes the RAM on your HDD... and you cannot restore or reboot even in safe mode... need replacement RAM.
Great the data is still there but you try justifying spending nearly $100 on ram and data recovery on a 2003 laptop to a tech savvy son of 21 and an ageing luddite aged 78.
"What? When you can't even pay the family health insurance on time?"
"Buy a new laptop for Chrissake...."
"Don't go into more debt... don't take a Cash Converters loan at 24 per cent either"...
"Just use the old desktop Mac you were given"
But don't expect to buy any software of that age, or even get it wifi'd to the household LAN that you pay for... and don't expect to be allowed to have an ethernet cable running from your study to the modem (across a hallway and into son's room... hmmm now why was it located there in the first place... oh I remember I wasn't home).
Then, when I try to tell the IT guy at work that my research (on my son's laptop loaned under duress and borrowed under cintant threat of revocation should I even alter an icon place...) has found in the techie forums that this is a COMMON PROBLEM with WD usb ext HDDs and even the company software won't/can't recover the data.
Yep, built in obselescence!
But try telling that to the IT guy, because the Dean at work has just ordered a department full of them for her academic staff.
You'd think forewarning would be acceptable.... but guess what?
"Don't listen to her... she's just a crazy,crabby old bitch. She must have done it herself, not the hardware."
And so Shakespeare's fool exits stage left.