Thursday, 14 August 2014

Cheers, Phil

Today is one of those rare days in my career when I say goodbye to one of my PhD students because they are done - finished writing their PhD and about to go off to pastures new.  Phil - my student in the picture - has finished writing his PhD, and his only task for his last day tomorrow is to take the version he has printed this evening to the binders and then to the postgraduate office to hand it in.  He's starting a job on Monday, but will be back to defend his thesis in due course.  

This leaves me with no PhD students (at least not as principal supervisor) so please do tell all eligible candidates to come my way, and that they too can look mildly pleased in the future to have completed their PhD.

I think, for a PhD student, Phil has a pretty respectable publication record - see here (and that doesn't cover his main thesis results).  Too bad he has realised that there are some good opportunities in non-academic life.  If only I had, all those years ago... It's A-level results day today.  I got my results 22 years ago, and they took me to University.  The peers of mine who did not go to University now have a much better standard of living than I do thanks (among other things) to getting on the UK housing market, which is constantly propped up by recent conservative governments whether Conservative or Labour.  It's not necessarily a terrible injustice that this is the case, but it's certainly one way in which government policy has (probably) unintended consequences.  I'd rather be able to tell students a more positive story.  

Monday, 11 August 2014

Turning 40

Ayr beach, recently
The last few weeks in my non-virtual life have been quite busy.  I seem to be getting older and more stuck in my ways, so as well as going to the same conference in Bulgaria as I've been to in succession for the last few years, I also went on the same summer holiday to stay with my cousin and her family in Ayr.  That was a lot of fun, as always.  It's nice to see them, and nice for my daughters to hang out with my cousin's kids.  

Since I've been back, I've had a few celebrations for turning 40 years old.  The weekend before last most of my family came down and we had a nice lunch in Guildford's finest pub (the Drummond).  They came then because they couldn't make the party this weekend on Saturday, that being closest in date to my 40th birthday on Friday.  I had a lovely time.  In fact, it turned out that my Dad did make it to the party after all, albeit at 11pm.  He wasn't going to be able to make it because he works on the cricket test matches for the telly.  He wasn't expecting the match to end when it did...

Normal service, whatever that is, should resume here about now.