Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Advice for the High-achieving

Kate sent me a link from the manosphere that was itself linked to a Sydney Morning Herald article so horrible, I can't link to it either. It would ruin your day. It's from April 22, 2012 by Bettina Ardnt, so if you really want your day ruined, you can do the hard work of finding it. I'm not enabling your mood disorders!

Basically it was about 20-something women being more desirable than 30-something women, and 30-something women finding it hard to find quality boyfriends, and it's ALL THE 30-SOMETHING WOMEN'S FAULT for not settling by the age of 29 and 3/4. Incidentally, the red-hot 28 year old they portray sneering at the 30-somethings drooling over her 36 year old boyfriend has been sleeping with him for six years. What, six years and no ring? Dear, dear. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, my dear. It tolls for thee.

The only non-vomitworthy thing about this article was its claim that things are "especially bad" for high-achieving women who are fishing in the small pool of high-achieving men. That I actually agree with, and I think this is where my Polish Pretend Son would take his Young Fogey pipe from his lips and say, "They want to have their cake and eat it too!"

Look, the thing about high-achieving men is that they do not really care what women do for a living. They may want a woman who can keep up with them intellectually, or they may prefer a woman who can't. After all, if he spends his work life competing with men and women whom he fears may have the edge on him, he isn't going to want to compete at home. Either way, men do not care how much social status their wives have apart from the social status of being their wives. Now, don't get me wrong: a supportive husband takes pride in his wife's accomplishments and perhaps brags about them to his friends and is tempted to hand her thriller to Ian Rankin. (I thought he'd better not!) But, really, he couldn't care that much what she did, as long as it didn't make her cranky and hard to live with. I once knew a pretty, friendly, highly intelligent waitress who was whisked away from the restaurant into matrimony by a millionaire.

If, then, women have, through our own efforts, clawed our way up the ladder in one of the Male Dominated Professions, than it strikes me that we should also do as the men do, and stop worrying so much about the professional status of the people we date. After all, if you're at very "top"--running the Bank of England, or whatever--there isn't going to be a man "above you" to date. And your colleagues will already be married to their nursing graduate or ex-waitress or graduate student or plain old housewife wives. So do as the men do (or did) and be open to meeting, liking and marrying people who make less money than you or who are further down the ladder. Go to a comic book store and see what the guy behind the counter looks like.

Sometimes I am staggered by how classist everyone is--not just in the UK, but everywhere. I was brought up to believe that everyone was equal in the eyes of God and the law, and that a dustman was the social equal of a university professor or a CEO. My shock to discover not everyone else believes this. Given a choice between a Catholic dustman and a non-Catholic professor, I would go out with the dustman and find out if he is also a philosopher who reads the work of Cardinal Ratzinger in his spare time.

I once met a housepainter who read a lot and was very interested in university-educated women. He hung out in what I suppose was a very early hipster bar and had conversations about philosophy and art. (Oh, Bauhaus Café, how I miss you!) I'm not sure that he was marriage material at the time, but I know he was open to meeting the right university-educated woman.

This isn't going to sound great, but my last ex-boyfriend Volker told me that German Page 3 girls often claim to be law students or lawyers or future professors or corporate this-or-that because the blue collar German men are bedazzled by their white collar woman glamour. Let's face it: the most intelligent blue collar guys, as much as they enjoy the camaraderie at work, are going to enjoy talking to a woman who is smart as a whip, especially if she is also cute and kind. Obviously, like all other men, they would hate being spoken down to, but having adult conversations on shared interests is something intelligent men like, no matter what they do for a living.

Mind you, I am talking from a hyper-democratic Canadian perspective, and assuming these intelligent blue collar workers are not chippy class warriors. Naturally if one of your core values is BEING MIDDLE-CLASS and one of his core values is BEING WORKING CLASS, then you won't be compatible--you carping at him about his table manners, and he snarling at you about "pretentiousness". But let's face it, many of us so-called Middle Class Types are only one or two generations from Working Class or Peasant Class. My red-headed grand-daddy was a typesetter, so naturally I have a soft spot for typesetters, or would have one if they hadn't all been replaced by computers.


Pearlmusic said...

Class distinction… argh! It’s such a difficult thing and I appreciate your piece on it and your open statement that most of the so-called middle-class has got mixed class origins. But, as for class-religion relationship, the thing I observe in Poland is that middle-class people tend to be more secular (often atheist), while devout Catholicism is more common among working and peasant class. It is not very common to be, for example, a college teacher and Catholic. As I encounter middle-class (or those with middle-class ambition) Polish men, mostly my fellows at work, my religious beliefs are rather weird to them, and they keep asking: “But you’re not lying on the Church floor all the time? You have your own discernment, right?”. On the other hand, I often feel (or am judged as) “to intellectual” or “too open-minded” for my fellow Catholics.
I wouldn’t like to destroy your image of Poland as a Catholic paradise, but the significance of the Church has been decreasing recently. The statistics say 90% people in Poland are Catholic. The truth is, around half of them go to Sunday Mass more or less regularly. And, further, out of those who go to Sunday Mass, approximately a half (or less) are devout (frequent Communion and Confession). I was so surprised when I went to Sunday Masses in the Catholic Churches in Germany and Austria. I guess 80% people received the Communion. Wow. And I thought to myself, that people in the West are more determined in their faith. If they belong to the Church, they’re serious about it. Here in Poland, we’re almost all Catholic, but largely only by name.

Seraphic said...

Oh, Pearlmusic! Poles always make me cry when you comment on Western Catholicism. The reason why 80% of the Austrians went up to communion is not because 80% had gone to confession the day before. It was probably because in the West almost everybody goes up for communion EVEN IF they are in a state of mortal sin. The only divorced-and-remarried person I knew of who didn't just receive communion anyway was a Polish lady in Toronto.

Fifty percent would be fantastic in most other Western countries. In many it's 30% or less. The reason why I think of Poland as a Catholic paradise is that, no matter how bad it is in modern-day Poland, it is much worse outside of Poland.

I forget--are you in Warsaw? Because I heard that in terms of faithful Catholicism, Warsaw is the worst place in Poland (although it certainly looked good from my Western perspective).

Seraphic said...

*Austrians and Germans, I mean. As far as orthodoxy and orthopraxy are concerned, the German Church is in utter crisis!

SundayBorn said...

Thanks for this post, Auntie!

(I'll avoid reading the post you mention; I got too depressed the other day reading a similar article about "older women", and nearly fell of my chair when the "older woman " being described turned out to be 27! "Yeah, she knew she was past her prime, but she maintained an elegant dignity nevertheless", wrote the idiot... I could only presume he was in favour of child-brides, if 27 was considered "expired"... sigh).

You’ve raised an important issue, Auntie, and one to which I’ve given considerable thought especially while completing a PhD in a predominantly male field. Many of my colleagues are, as you describe, happily married to women with significantly less education, who are occupied tending to home and children, things I would happily do as well (by which I mean, I'm not a competitively career-oriented type of woman who's trying to compete with men; I'm simply doing my best to try to follow what I believe God has called me to do...)

When I look at this issue, I’ve wondered about ideas of love and respect between men and women. It generally seems to work well for men to marry women of significantly less education/means/position because it reinforces his position as leader, provider, protector, as well as the woman's respect/ admiration for her husband. However, in the reverse case with a woman with more education/ money/position etc, it seems to me that even if we as women are happy with this arrangement (taking your wise advice to be more open-minded, Auntie) one often runs up against the uncomfortable rock of men feeling in some way "less than" and therefore immediately disinterested.

But how do we communicate that some of us are not in these positions to compete, and that we DO respect me, when we're judged and dismissed right off the bat? I think gender perspectives on this have some of us at a disadvantage; I'm curious what others think?

In fairness, I've seen two examples within my friend groups of now-happily-married (Christian) couples where the women had higher levels of education and/or income. In both cases, my female friends fretted at surprisingly extensive length that the men were perhaps not "smart enough" for them. Kind, good, sincere Christians, yes; BUT… I know, the audacity! My female friends admitted that their mindsets were arrogant, but both said - "I don't want to feel this way; I just do, and have to honestly work through this if I'm committing myself for life to this man." While we can by all means control our actions, we need to be honest about the thoughts and feelings that arise, and I have to say, I can relate to my friends on this point.

What I observed is that the two men in question were incredibly secure in themselves and did not find this an impediment. The fact that I've seen this twice gives me hope that there are other Christian men who are similarly secure, but they seem few and far between...

Taking your advice, Auntie, how do you suggest we overcome these obstacles? Having a higher income/degree doesn't mean, for many of us, that we're any less excited to build a home and family, and to be loving and respectful wives. How do we strive to communicate this to potential men without having to hide our achievements? Honestly sometimes I feel like my education/career is a dark secret to keep hidden, like a love-child: "I have to confess, there was a foolish moment of indiscretion in my youth, and I ended up with a PhD...but it only happened once; don't judge me for it!"

(I should also say that I'm only talking about Christian marriage here; I totally agree, Auntie, that marrying a Catholic dustman vs. non-Catholic prof is the better choice.).

Thanks for raising another important discussion!

SundayBorn said...

Oops, typo - sentence should have read,

But how do we communicate that some of us are not in these positions to compete, and that we DO respect MEN, not me (although self-respect is of course important! ) :)

Pearlmusic said...

Not Warsaw, but Lodz (which doesn't have very strong Catholic tradition either).

Oh, really... I feel disappointed by the hypocrisy of Western Catholic people, then. Even more than I am with Polish faith. Anyway, Polish Catholic Church undergoes severe attacks and criticism right now and that's a fact.

Seraphic said...

Pearlmusic, on the other hand, don't feel too badly about Western Catholics trooping up automatically to communion--we're raised that way, we really are. It's not hypocrisy if they don't actually know they're not supposed to be receiving, or a priest with "interesting" ideas told them not to worry about it.

I am not surprised the Church is undergoing a lot of attacks right now, for a host of reasons.

@Sunny. Don't forget that the Catholic dustman would only be the better choice for me if he were a philosopher, too. Otherwise, I would give up both the dustman and the non-Catholic prof.

I don't know why it is necessary for anyone to give a stranger the run-down on their education. "I'm a researcher; I work in a lab" or "I live lectures at X College" is the correct answer to "What do you do?" not "I'm a gold medal winning PhD."

A guy who thinks a girl is pretty and fun is not going to dump her on the third date just because she mentions that she went to Harvard. But a girl who mentions on the first date that she went to Harvard may make the same impact as if she were bragging about going to Harvard, which is unfair, but there it is, and in Harvard circles this phenomenon i called "the H-Bomb."

If guys are truly turned off by women who have PhDs, then women who want to get married and have children with all their hearts and souls should not get PhDs. However, I don't believe all men are turned off by women who have PhDs. I just think men are turned off by women who think men are as impressed by PhDs as women are.

Social life demands a different skill set from school-and-work life. Men are great at compartmentalizing. It means they can be tyrants at work and sugarfuffs at home. I think women who have "their" jobs should do that, too. Stuff your PhD in a drawer when you leave work and forget about it until you go back to work.

I wonder how those girls could tell the guys were not smart enough for them. I have most definitely dumped guys for not being smart enough for me, although I wonder now if I was right about that and there was some other quality about them that bugged me. Without taking IQ tests, how would we know?

Seraphic said...

Oh, sorry. That's @Sunday Born.

Pearlmusic said...

Right - I'm a bit judgemental today, sorry! Sure, ignorance is not the same as hypocrisy and I didn't mean that of course. But when you travel, you sometimes get the feeling of "how much better this country is than mine", but without realizing the facts. That's to my defense.

As for academic jobs, they are jobs like many others. If you choose - or, better, are offered an academic post (PraeDoc or something similar), it is quite obvious you will have to do your degrees or else you're fired. That's the same in teaching an many others. Recently, I've had a talk with a guy (he has a girlfriend, I'm Single) and I explained to him I had to travel because of a PhD project.

"Oh, PhD ist not a must-have", he said very confidently.
"No", I replied calmly, before I got to say something like "Are you suggesting my Singleness has got something to do with PhD?!". Instead, I said: "But I try to make a living out of it".

End of story. I guess the Holy Spirit was hovering above. He's been full of respect for me ever since.

Seraphic said...

A much better answer.

Meanwhile, could you not have said, "A study project?" "A school project?" "A research project?"

I was very pleased with myself when I got into a PhD program, so please I enjoyed telling others that I was doing a PhD, but this never ever got me any dates. It may have looked like I was bragging. Maybe I was bragging a little.

Pearlmusic said...

Good idea, thanks! Actually I started with something like "research project", but the conversation went on to a doctorate. Perhaps PhD itself sounds like bragging, even without us intentionally putting it that way: "hey, man, I'm so smart, I'm doing a PhD". And maybe often "But that won't get you a nice guy, madam" is the answer.

Jam said...

In my experience "PhD" always comes out (if you're working on it full time). I just came back from doing research. "Oh? What kind of research?" My students email me on Sundays all the time. "Oh? What do you teach?" I'm a teacher. "Oh? What grades?" I'm a student. "Oh? When do you graduate?" In my experience it just doesn't work to be vague. If you have finished the degree I agree you shouldn't introduce yourself as a PhD over and above introducing yourself as a professor, a scientist, etc; but there is truly no acceptable synonym for "I'm finishing my PhD" if that is what you "do". And anyway, I generally end up feeling like a snob when I try to avoid saying it. What, I think the plebs won't understand?

In my experience there are three ways people interpret the statement "I'm finishing a PhD" - both men and women.
(1) I'm an interesting person with a cool life path.
(2) I'm a visitor from Plant Smart Person who's just killing time until I can get back to reading my dictionary.
(3) I think I'm so much better than you.
I can't really know what the person's reaction is going to be; and I can't help it anyway. So I don't try to anticipate and tailor my statements to appease category 3.

Iota said...

@ Pearlmusic
> It is not very common to be, for example, a college teacher and Catholic.

Consider ~45 years of communism, when achieving higher professional status may have involved having Catholicism yanked out of you one way or another. Therefore: I’d assume ours is the second generation to have actual free choice in pursuing a chosen belief system and go do stuff with it literally WHEREVER we want. We have peer pressure, but not institutional pressure. And, I may have this wrong, but AFAIR higher education in the young does correlate with self-selected atheism (after all, if being young is the time to rebel, becoming atheist is kind of to be expected in a largely Catholic country). So I wouldn’t expect religious academics to advertise the fact too much. It can’t be much fun to be Permanent Church Spokesperson and Full-Time One-Person Committee to Argue the Inquisition Wasn’t Worse Than Secular Medieval Courts.

For example, you probably wouldn’t know I’m Catholic, if we worked together, unless you got me to talk about Hot Button Issues reluctantly or ended up asking me why I don’t work on Sunday or some such thing.

Because my Catholicism isn’t a necessary bit of data for my academic friends or students, or my clients and very often ends up being an unnecessarily controversial topic.


And by the way: I’m NOT the right person to say anything about dating but as far as doing a PhD goes, when I had classes assigned and got money for teaching, I told people that was what I was doing (“I teach at a university as a doctoral student”), if they asked about my job. Now, without a teaching assignment and the cash, I’d probably mention being a translator, and the PhD only if context warranted that.

As far as I’m concerned, a PhD is just like a military rank or a professional title – you just get it if you jump successfully through the right hoops. No big deal. People react in different ways (as Jam pointed out), but that’s perfectly okay, IMO.

Anonymous said...

Magnificat said...

Dear Auntie Seraphic, new Austrian reader here. (Sorry for mistakes in with English.)
You know the Austrian and German habits of attending Sunday Mass (less than 15% of the Catholics) and receiving Hl. Communion quite well.. But in fact, at least in the towns, devout Catholics all gather in Curches where Confession is frequently offered.
Just wantetd to thank you for writing this blog, I love it!

Seraphic said...

Magnificat, I'm glad to hear that! It's interesting how people in smaller towns and in the countryside still seem to be more devout. This is true even for Quebec, which went from being one of the most pious Catholic places in the world to one of the least!

Another way to get around saying that one is a PhD student is to say that one is a graduate student.

Listen, y'all. You know and I know that there is absolutely wrong with being a PhD student. It's a fantastic challenge and it looks really good on a CV. It can even get you a good/interesting job. But IF IT IS TRUE (examine your your experience to determine this) that it acts as a barrier between you and other people, leading men to put you down in a pre-emptive strike and women to shrug and change the topic, then for your own good, you'll want to save it for when you know someone better.

Sunnysaffer said...

My heart always sinks when someone asks me what I do. I am often greeted with stunned silence, or an exclamation of "That's very impressive!" when I mention that I am an Engineer. I try and be vague, just mentioning the industry I work in or the company I work for, but people do just keep asking questions until they find out what I actually do. How to avoid this? I worked for a charity for 6 years and found I received a much warmer response from people, male and female when mentioning my work.

As far as relationships with "blue collar" men, they often have skills we don't often encounter amongst our fellow white collar workers. I recently met a man who is qualified as a master plasterer and worked on gothic buildings for many years and now works as a technician. Personally, I found this very attractive and would love to have a man around who really knows his way around technology and is good at DIY.

Seraphic said...

Well, if people want to talk to you because of what you do, then there's no reason for your heart to sink! Personally, I'm always interested in women who have real solid trades like "engineer" and "nurse" and "veterinarian"--probably because, writing apart, I've been a Jill of pink collar not-quite-trades!

AmericanInWarsaw said...

@PearlMusic - I don't want to hijack this thread to comment on Polish Catholicism, but if it's of any comfort to you, I had the same exact experience at a university in Warsaw. Granted, I was studying humanities and that seems to draw a greater-than-normal crowd of liberal professors (my language 'open-debate' classes were more about indoctrination sometimes than actually learning a language). I do think (although I might be mistaken) that there is a greater number of faithful Catholics amongst those studying and teaching at the 'polytechnic' schools - at least just from a cursory glance at my university social circles. Plus, the student population at those schools is usually mostly male :)

Seraphic, I think part of what PearlMusic was trying to articulate is that while for Westerners visiting Poland the statistics - and overflowing churches for holy days - are impressive and inspiring, for native Poles it's disheartening that a) there are less people in the churches than before b) a lot of our fellow countrymen's spirituality seems to be strictly ritualistic or tradition-bound, not exemplified in work, in the street, at home. I suppose that is something that we all struggle with individually - but it is disheartening that with such a high rate of church-going Catholics we still have so many social problems which deeply affect the country (corruption, alcoholism, disrespect for people's property, unjust treatment at work, I could go on...).

Urszula said...

Whoops I signed in a VERY old account... the previous comment was me.

Magdalena said...

Another phd student here! According to my experience, non-academics tend to think this must be something super special, while I myself agree with Iota - it is just a step necessary within a specific career path.

Regarding this "As far as orthodoxy and orthopraxy are concerned, the German Church is in utter crisis!" Yes, sadly that's so true! Weep, sigh, sob... I think Magnificat meant the opposite - that in the cities, people start to be more orthodox again. Churches are fuller, mass is offered multiple times each day, confession is offered and people use it. On the country, there is a spiritual DESERT. Really. Elderly people go to Mass because "it is what you do", but nobody seems to know ANYTHING about what Mass is about. Priests re-invent the missal every sunday. It is really tragic. But in the cities, hope dawns, halleluja!

Sorry for this parallel discussion, but I am just getting really emotional about this.

Urszula said...

@SundayBorn, I can't really contribute to the PhD discussion, not being on that track myself, but I agree 100% with you that it takes a very secure man to make a seemingly 'uneven' relationship work. I know of one case where the girl was pursuing a PhD (mostly because she wanted to teach at the university level) and her then-boyfriend was working in the coatcheck of an elementary school (in Poland). She dropped out of the PhD, mostly I think because he was insecure and couldn't handle her being so much 'above him'. Now she is a teacher in a high school and he works at the same high school as a counselor (he got certification in the meantime). I think the only reason it has worked out so far is their social/professional possessions have more or less evened out (whether it was to her advantage to resign from the intellectual pursuit of a PhD is a decision I don't want to judge. It is not a decision I would have made, at least not for those reasons).

Anyway, while such relationships possibly happen, I think it takes a very mature guy who is good at whatever he does, knows it, and enjoys it. Otherwise the traditional breadwinning roles - and social perceptions, not just personal entrenched ideas - can make it seem like a strike to a man's sensitive ego.

Jackie said...

Another chick with a doctorate chiming in! Something that has really brought me into perspective in my field (the arts) is seeing some people who have their artist's diploma (Bachelor's) from a conservatory who are SO. DARN. GOOD.

Piece of paper or not, they are completely amazing in the field and incredibly inspiring to me. I wonder if this is more common in fields that are subjective-- arts, literature? There are some writers who take your breath away and are constantly, constantly working on their craft. And who knows if they even have a high school diploma?

I wonder if part of it is there is such a Stockholm Syndrome weirdness to academia that it becomes part of your identity? After I graduated, one of my teachers said to me, Now I can be nice to you, finally! (She had made me cry on at least one major occasion, to make a point, I believe.) WEIRD.


Jackie said...

PS: Seraphic, in the article That Shall Not Be Named, they are getting their reports, among other things, a particularly nasty blog that purports itself to be a Christian and prides itself on shaming and debasing single mothers and an obsession with "sluts."

This good Christian man and his wife will proudly write of how their nasty comments to single mothers in public. They also claim superiority to pastors, professional clergy and divinity school grads for their refusal to preach this from the pulpit. And don't even get me started on how they are obsessed with "sluts" but say not one word about how men are to be held accountable to the exact same standard.

In short, this woman's article is supported by blogs that traffic in hateful misogyny and petty mean-spirited people. Sound and fury signifying nothing.

Seraphic said...

@Magdalena, I share your pain about the German-speaking church, well, in a Simon of Cyrene kind of way, not being German myself, except through one great-grandfather, who was Lutheran anyway and may have been born in the USA. I have a friend who keeps me up to date on what goes on his church in his village in Hesse, and my eyes almost fall out. And that petition by all those theologians--ugh! And I was in Germany myself, as you hopefully will be able to tell when you read my book. (I am hoping you read my book, for I am LONGING to know if Germanic readers will like it or hate it.)

SundayBorn said...

Ladies, really enjoying everyone's comments!

I think for me what the issue boils down to is that as for those of us single women in let's call them non-traditional or more typically male jobs/study programmes, there is a different challenge than there is for men in looking outside of our immediate peer/colleague groups to find suitable spouses based on the intricacies of gender roles. Men can do this more easily because it doesn't challenge their sense of identity as provider, protector etc. So the businessman marries the pretty waitress. But when we reverse this, I think men easily feel like we've usurped their role or made them look insufficient in some way, even thought that's totally NOT our intention, and we're just doing our best to do the jobs God has called us to do.

I totally agree, Seraphic, that we can be more creative and diligent in compartmentalizing jobs/study in social contexts, though I think many of us have been down the rabbit trails that several of you mention of trying to find more generic ways of explaining what we do/study, which all lead back to just saying it...

All of these things aside, the issue remains that if we're looking at partnerships with men in which we might have a more prominent job, or higher income, or more education or whatever - I think it requires special adjustments on both sides so that egos aren't hurt, and everyone feels valued and respected.

As much as we women might be happy to marry the "Catholic philosopher dustman" because he shares our faith and intellectual interest, I think HE would have to think carefully about whether he wanted to be the dustman married to the professor or engineer, or accomplished writer, or what have you. And unfortunately there's nothing we can do about that except to be mindful, like you say, Seraphic, of not appearing boastful about our careers/education. I think the challenge of being in these positions (however generically we may approach talking about them) is that men in similar positions more readily say "hey that's great, I admire what you're doing", but men in seemingly "less qualified" positions think we're "showing off". I think going outside of our immediate circles is sometimes easier said than done, and not necessarily because we as women are unwilling or being arrogant, but because it introduces a challenge to pretty deeply held gender roles on both sides.

PS - I was delighted to read comments from such a number of you who are also working on PhDs! Good luck one and all :)

Peralmusic said...

Thanks Urszula and Iota for your comments giving a more profound insight into present state of Polish Faith. I'm deeply impressed with the language skills of both of you, by the way!

And great to hear so many of you girls here are doing (or have done) PhD's! I do not advocate that seriously, but we could even start a dating website for Single Catholic PhD women, haha! Any philospohic dusters out there? :D

What comes to my mind is that of course, bragging about one's achievements (whatever they are) makes bad impression in general. But yet, there's the opposite side of it, namely feeling embarassed about them, which can even make things worse. So I'd say, if someone is asking for details, let's not make a skeleton in the closet out of it. It's nothing to boast about but yet nothing to apologize for.

Moreover, in fact, my experience is that if a man has a very low self-esteem and feels insecure in our company, there's little we can do about it. Certainly, we won't help them feel much better by downplaying our success.

Magdalena said...

I have bought your book but not yet read it. I'll tell you what I think about it later :-)

(To console myself about the curch in Germany, I know now that in Switzerland it is not really better... If that is a consolation. I was in England this summer, and although the music in church was... well, rather horrible, I was so delighted that they acually pray the real words of the Gloria, Sanctus, and Credo. I really don't care about the music if the rest is good!)

Julia said...

This is not super-relevant to this post, but I thought it was kind of funny when I heard about it, especially as I'm someone who doesn't currently have an ambition to enrol in a doctoral programme (let's see if I pass my Masters first, hey?)

A friend's father is a secondary school principal, and he and a friend (another teacher?) had a public radio programme called "Could've Been PhDs". It was about education, I think. Anyway, they had no callers ringing up and asking questions, so my friend's dad got her mum to ring in with questions.

SundayBorn said...

Haha, just reading Seraphic's post on British deprecation and how it really scores points here - and it's making me laugh thinking of this discussion and wonder if maybe we've been going about this all wrong!(for those in the UK anyway!)

Maybe we need to be saying things more like "well, yeah, I haven't really done much with my life, I mean, I'm the top engineer in my firm, but other than that ..." or "My university keeps me around, I don't know why, just because I pulled together a rubbish 100,000 words of groundbreaking research and scored top marks... I guess they pity me...." ;)

Have to find humour somewhere right! ;)

Seraphic said...

Oh heavens, how fatal! The thing to do is to call yourself desk jockey or a lab rat or to say, "I write down numbers and push them around a bit."

The principle of non-competition is the important thing, I think. When I went to Poetry Night, I always got along with the poets because even though I went to the mic to tell funny stories, I never wrote poetry.

Seraphic said...

This is not to say, by the way, that nobody should try dating some guy within their field, if he asks her out. Still, fear of competition may be one reason why a guy in your field (or department) won't ask you out.

Seraphic said...

This is not to say, by the way, that nobody should try dating some guy within their field, if he asks her out. Still, fear of competition may be one reason why a guy in your field (or department) won't ask you out.

Iota said...

@ Pearlmusic

"giving a more profound insight into present state of Polish Faith."

Oh my, I had no intention of giving any profound insights whatsoever. Just some bumbling thoughts.

Thanks for reading.