On the back of a not very good morning on the back of a few not very good weeks I’m taking to the blog once again if not to complain then to vent my anger.
This morning a member of my supervisory team introduced a new researcher to the rest of us, when getting to my work she said (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘She does something with…well drama…well why don’t you explain’ Then went on to introduce the others with ‘they’re IT experts, oh she does work you’ll be interested in and her work is fascinating.’
So everyone else is either fascinating or an expert but she can’t even bring herself to explain what my work is? I have two theories on this, neither of which fill me with hope or joy with regard to my current position.
First is that a member of my supervisory team still doesn’t fully understand what I’m doing or trying to do. I should note that it wouldn’t have been too hard to wing it because above my computer is a giant poster with the title of my research on it. I have a viva with this person in a month, how can I be interviewed by someone who doesn’t really know what I do?
Second is the overall unwillingness to engage with the subject matter. I joke constantly (and it does amuse me) that my colleague is the ‘dreams girl’ and I’m the ‘AIDS girl’ it’s funny because she’s nice and lovely just like her research suggests and I’m well, dark and twisty like my work suggests. What isn’t funny is that people can’t bring themselves to say AIDS, can’t bring themselves to acknowledge what I’m doing. On one hand this is fuel to the fire, a reason to keep going to do this work. On the other to constantly smack against a wall of and I’ll say it homophobia and discrimination makes me want to curl into a ball and cry. I wont because that’s part of the reason to do this, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult.
I do wish sometimes, often actually, that I’d chosen-no not chosen it wasn’t a choice, been able to go to one of the Universities where mine would have been one of many similar research topics, either on LGBT issues, gender issues or hell I’d even settle for drama based. I wish I could be in an environment where I could be allowed to do what I wanted and what I needed unchallenged in the constant and frustrating way I am here. I know I need to be challenged but there is a difference between productive and unproductive challenges.
Normally, previously my response to this type of challenge is to fight but I’m tired a year in I’m so tired of constantly justifying my place, my work. In the long run perhaps it will make the work better, make me a better person.
For now I'm taking the approach 'what doesn't kill me doesn't kill me.'