May 14, 2003

Is there no end to the amount of work that can be laid upon PhD students? I mean, I like doing this, I’m not complaining about that, but. . .

Here is the thing. Sara and I are going to another university next week, for a 10-day course. We get five credits for the course, which is equivalent to five weeks’ study, normally; the course as I said is 10 days (8 of them with lectures and/or seminars as they managed to put the course in the week of Ascension day, which is a holiday, and we also get the Sunday off) and to get the credits we must participate and also hand in a final paper, the length of which is as yet unknown. So far so good.

But the last few days the university in question has been sending us the required pre-reading in thick envelopes, every day; not counting the books we have to read we have so far received papers amounting to about 540 pages, and as I say, on top of this there are several books. We clearly have different notions of what is a reasonable amount of text to read in one week’s time (as we are leaving next Thursday, that’s all we have!) not to mention the fact that the amount of text and the diverse areas covered correspond more to a 15-credit course than one for five credits. Our supervisor tried to get the powers that be to change the course description to give us 10 credits for it, but to no avail. . . fortunately it’s all very interesting, but how on earth we are supposed to internalise it all by next Thursday is beyond me.


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