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Six directions at once...

It's probably not a good sign when you want to start a Friday morning with a ranting blog post is it?

Well one week into term and that's what I feel like. Obviously with term starting I knew things would be busy but it's like everything I'd forgotten about and more, no matter what resolutions I make to try and prevent that happening nothing seems to work.

There's the classic pull between teaching, other paid work and PhD but also the various responsibilities that come with all. In teaching I'm only there paid by the hour, I'm not a salaried full time staff member but I take my responsibility seriously. I also want to do the best job I can, but there's always a fine line between being as helpful as you can and showing willing and being the one who does everything.

There's also working an evening/weekend job as well, so my job doesn't end with my teaching I'm off to the other job, I'm working late etc. But there's another dimension to that also-by day I'm working a professional job one with responsibility and one that (I hope) implies a certain level of education or intellect. By night I'm taking tickets and pulling pints, and (thankfully not too often in this job) working under the assumption that therefore I'm an idiot. There's also the issue that not only is it likely I'll serve colleagues or students but that I work with two of them. I get two of my students bossing me around by night (I joke, sort of) . Does anyone else I work with or any of my fellow PhD students have any idea what that's like?

I also feel like I'm being pulled in six different directions by my friends. My friends aren't a single cohesive group, barely any of them know each other so it's not like I can have one big catch up with them all on a Saturday night. It involves six different meetings with six different people. And sometimes I just haven't got time. I'm so grateful for my friends but also exhausted at trying to maintain friendships-I always feel like the bad guy, chasing people up about meeting up because if I don't plan something it'll never happen. I'm also the bad guy because I haven't got time for mind games or drama, so I'm blunt and say things as they are-even when it's not my issue and then I'm the bad guy again.

And I worry about everything, I worry about the fact I've said the wrong thing to someone that they're offended because I can't see them when they want to. And actually I've realised, most people aren't giving me a second thought when I'm not there or speaking to them.

I try my best with all this, I try to be in the six places at once. I try not to let the stress of the teaching world get to me, I try not to let it get to me the other jobs I have to do to keep going and what that feels like sometimes. And I try to maintain friendships and be a good friend. Sometimes I can't do it all though.



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