Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Academia: over and out


In the recycling wheely bin on the left: a million photocopies of book chapters, a million more printed journal articles, and a few thousand cliped newspaper articles and editorials. There are tens of thousands of unit guides and handouts and surveys and pictures. There are hundreds of yellow post-it notes saying things like 'HD 80% 32/40'.

In the burn bin on the right: a billion exam booklets with student numbers and pages and pages of handwritten essays, a million odd essays that were never recovered and a hundred thousand quizzes because I woke the hell up and put that shit online with an auto-marker. There are a few thousand class rolls, attendance sheets, marking lists and spread sheets, each a semester's worth of student effort (or lack there of).

In the car at the top: what's left of a ten-year life as an academic. As I closed the boot I thought about the door closing cliche and then I wailed, a big, ugly open-mouthed cry, all the way home.

And the next day? I went and got my new student ID card.

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