Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 - 7:05 pm.
I'm back to work this week, after a glorious month of vacation. Since my last entry, I was surprised to find myself excited over going back to work. It helps that my workplace is across the street from where I live, so also "going back" doesn't feel like a big chore in itself.
The week was fine. Since I started working for her again, my boss gave me her old office in the agricultural sciences building, as she has another office somewhere else in the university (it's also the reason why my current affiliation reads biotechnology and not psychology). So I have a big office just to myself where I don't have to talk to anyone all day, and the key to the staff bathroom. My boss loves me.
Unfortunately, the research project I'm working on is not mine, it's of course my boss'. It's a job, sure, one that I enjoy (for the most part), but it's not in my field. This work is fine, but on the long run it may make me look (professionally) and feel (personally) mediocre. It's not very challenging. I mean, some parts are. I have to write papers, wich means reading a lot, and hence I learn a lot. But it's still not my field. To work on one's preferred field, one's CV should already reflect work on that field. It's a loop I can't break yet.
I want to do research on LGBTI subjects. My boss has sponsored two grant applications of mine which are built from her own research (food-related life and well-being) and mine. One was rejected and just last week I got the letter explaining why; it was understandable, but I also think the penalty for what my proposal was lacking was excessive. There's a lot of university politics and power plays in choosing these applications, too, and most of those who got this grant are from only two universities in the capital.
I'm thinking my second grant application will be rejected too. This is an internal grant from my university, and I presented the same project (the first application was for governement funding). They probably won't care about what was lacking in my proposal, because it truly wasn't that big of a deal, but my boss and I agree I may not win it either. I come from a "soft science", most projects that end up winning are from the "hard sciences", which can appear to be more productive (i.e. more publications) because they don't deal with actual fucking people that slows down their productivity. That, among other reasons pertaining to internal affairs of the uni.
My boss has a lot of faith in me, but she knows how this university works. So she's drafting a job offer to continue my current contract in case I don't get this uni grant. I want to get it, just so I can start doing research on LGBTI issues. But it seems likely I won't, so I need to find other options to get involved in what I really want to do.
Andrew had been very down as the week progressed, and one of these nights he told me he was depressed. He's not saying that lightly. He's got a PhD and is functionally unemployed, working a catch-all lame job as an assistant in a social sciences unit where some people are desperately incompetent and others cannot get off their high horse.
We've both been screwed over by secretaries this month, so he only got paid half last month, and I will not get paid this month...or rather I will get paid this and the next month until April. Lovely. Peachy. I was once a secretary and I know secretaries make the world go round. But the secretaries at this uni, like many other people and processes in this uni, have an absolutely appaling tendency to screwing you over even with the easiest tasks and outcomes.
Andrew's applied for a couple of jobs elsewhere. I'm trying to think of a side project that'll allow me to get into my field.
Luckily, and income woes aside, Andrew and I have a life outside of academia. Last night we met with friends, tonight we'll watch a movie and eat something nice. We support each other any way we can. For instance, he only worked half this week due to the lack of payment, but he decided to come to "my" office and give me a hand with some paperwork. He said it beat staying at home, doing nothing in the heat, and well, yeah. But still, he didn't have to, and I appreciated that.
In other news.
I've decided I'm going to the city's Women's Day march. I was terrified just to decide that, but I can't stay home, not anymore. I have a friend to go with, and hey, I can bring my bi flag. This friend also gave me a #NiUnaMenos (no more women murdered) bandana, and she got caught in a "the rapist is you" demonstration, when the police cornered the (all-female) crowd and threw water and gas at them. Her mom is coming to the march, too, and I know she has all this mad street cred from the dictatorship years. All this to say, I'll be in good company. Hell, it's a women's march. You bet I'll be in good company.
(Except if there are any TERFs. Fuck TERFs).
Also, I know I don't need my partner's approval for this, but it meant a lot to me that Andrew encouraged me to go. He offered to look after the baby of another friend so she could go, but the police brutality in the country since last September does not cease to be horrifying, and this friend doesn't want to risk getting hurt. I mean, fuck, I'm scared to death myself. The cops shoot to the eyes. They put poison in the water and the gas. They can take you away.
But hopefully all will be good. This march will be something else. It will be massive, it will be strong, it will be beautiful. I'm scared, but I'm excited too.
HEY! Today's my 9th year anniversary of leaving my home country to come to Chile. Jesus Christ, how my life changed.