Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023 - 2:36 pm.
I had a stressful but rewarding week, and it ended on a high note last night. Just a nice night-in with Andrew and two other mutual friends/colleagues (Andrew is also my colleague, we even have offices across from one another). It was a great chance to catch up and vent over fine pastries and champagne.
I'm not sure if the above combination sounds sophisticated or weird, but it was amazing.
This morning I answered an online survey from UK Visa and Immigration offices about my visa application. I just went OFF. I was angry, but I also took the time to explain carefully what happened and frankly, I'm in my right to be pissed off.
On top of all the expenses to apply for this visa, I ended up paying hundreds of pounds for registering at the conference I did not attend. The conference organisers did not see grounds to give me the refund. The conference fee was part of my research project budget, but as I didn't attend because I didn't get the visa on time, I had to reimburse it from my own pocket.
My feedback was mostly for venting, it's not like UKVI cares or can do anything to make up for all the time and money I wasted, nor for all the anxiety and uncertainty I went through for weeks. I know their mistake was not personal, it was incompetence at most. Nevertheless, the UK made me miss an important milestone in my career over nothing and withheld my passport for two months. Add their policies of disdain for immigrants, and the least I can do is go the fuck off if they ask me for feedback.
In other news: I start teaching an undergrad course in two weeks. Six months ago this seemed like a faraway thing, something I would not be capable of doing. Now, my body is ready. Got my classes, got my readings, got my evaluations, got my docling who will support me in some tasks.
It helps that my class is only six weeks long. I'm in this weird 3rd year course "Psychology and diversity" with contents that, seems to me, vary depending on the available professors *skull emoji*. My colleague teaches half of this course on Culture and First Nations (she's Mapuche) and I will teach the other half on sexuality and gender (I'm bi, haha). At least I know I wasn't chosen due to identity politics because people in general don't know I'm bi.
Now, my colleague wanted to build her career on cognitive-developmental Psychology, she's done great work in that field. But then she saw other non-indigenous academics talking about indigenous issues in not the most accurate ways, so she had to step in. Now she mixes both interests, and I get to learn from her whenever we meet, which is a joy.
I was actually her research assistant for a few months about a decado ago(!). We have a paper together from that time, but also one that came out this year. That's thanks to one of my master's students. He was in a master's course of hers and conducted a literature review on gender cognition development during infancy and childhood. It's all so fascinating, man.
So my colleague and I are both stuck in a course that screams "othering". Let's just put First Nations and Queers in this corner, instead of teaching these subjects throughout the undergrad Psych program. I kind of give the benefit of the doubt to this setup, as the program is old and maybe that was all they could do at the time with how little these subjects were discussed back then. HOWEVER. The curriculum is being reviewed at the moment, and honestly, I'm not sure it will change much in that regard. There's a lot of discourse and good intentions, but when the blows come, a lot of "allies" disappear.
Andrew and I went for coffee this morning and stopped by the apartment we're buying. Rather, the building. We just stood outside of it and then went back to our car. On the window we still could see the letters spelling the name of the baby whose family is leasing the apartment. I suppose they'll stay there until September. Hell, even until October, as paperwork moves very slowly. It is nice to be looking forward to this, though. To moving into a place of your own.
I have a long weekend ahead. In a good way! Monday and Tuesday are holidays. Otherwise, my course would have started this upcoming week.