Just another day at the office…

Tuesday 11th May 2010

Hello hello!

Well, since the last time I wrote SOOOOOO much has happened I barely know where to begin! The complex politics at work? Dead body found on campus last week? Students attacked and beaten by faculty members? Or perhaps something more cheery such as my AMAZING weekend away in Gandhi Sagar National Park?

Frankly, there is so much to tell, I am torn between splitting it into two emails, or attempting to shorthand it (which we all know I’m incapable of – I do so love to embellish!). I couldn’t possibly leave anything out after that tantalising taster, so I guess I’ll have to just start writing and see where I get to…. Continue reading

Money? No, but we’ll take a filing cabinet…

Friday 23rd April 2010

Well, what can I say? The last couple of weeks have been ever busier and more full of excitement, so I figured I’d better write it all down again!

Let’s see, S and D went on a well-earned holiday last week, and so I found myself doing some new and very interesting things! I promised S that I would supervise the HR team and sign off on anything important in her absence, and I also gave a couple of lectures to the MBA class to cover D while he’s away. The lectures were a lot of fun – I gave them a crash course in CSR, and it also means I get to keep my “Assistant Professor” job title! Hee hee! I feel like such a fraud…

As for HR, that was a bit more tricky, but luckily the girls in the office are extremely competent! Within about 2 hours of S leaving, her assistant came to see me with a small problem. H, my flatmate, needs to extend her visa, as it was about to run out.
In order to do that, she needed a letter from the police to state that she is currently registered and they have extended her registration etc. Continue reading

The Inspection part 2

Monday 5th April 2010

Hi again,

I know I just emailed last week, but there’s been even more fun and drama so I thought I would share it all with you!

The Inspection is all over now, and was actually quite funny. The University was so desperate to make sure that everything was in order and met the UGC guidelines that they ended up making all sorts of last-minute changes. The staff-student ratio was way too low, so about 2 days before the inspection they went round altering people’s contracts to make it seem like we had more teaching staff!

I was given a brand new contract, complete with a forged signature from the Vice-Chancellor, stating that I am now an Assistant Professor, and a member of the teaching staff! We were told we’d have to give back those contracts after the inspection, but if I offer to give a few lectures next year I can probably keep the title (although I’d feel a bit of a fraud putting that on my CV!). Continue reading

The Inspection…and other stories

Tuesday 30th March 2010

Hello again!

Well, so much has happened since I last wrote that I really don’t know where to start!

Work has been busy, but interesting, and I’ve been meeting with loads of NGOs to try and get our student internship up and running, and we’ve had lot of positive responses, so that’s good. I’m also busy planning activities for World Environment Day on June 5th, so we’re hoping to get a couple of guest speakers to come and give a lecture on the environment, show a film screening of “An Inconvenient Truth” and lots more fun and exciting environmentally-themed things!

The University is being inspected this week by the UGC (University Governing Committee I think), so the last two weeks have been insanely busy and every department has to have every single file and document in order ready for inspection. They’ve planned out a careful itinerary, and on Wednesday I’m giving them a presentation of our CSR programmes so far and then escorting them around our sports and recreational facilities – so I’ll have to find out where they are! Continue reading

Simon Webbe’s biggest fan

Friday 5th March 2010

Hi guys,
so, the adventure continues….
There’s so much to say I don’t even know where to begin!

Work has been incredibly busy. I’ve written proposals, attended a conference on community radio projects, and even given a short presentation at a press conference. A CSR Consultant came out for a week to work with us on our strategic plan, and then the University had a festival, which was exhausting!

The festival was really badly organised, and S and I ended up being in charge of security, (very random!). They had a crap bamboo barricade separating the student area from the VIPs and the stage, which we kept telling them was going to fall down, and eventually it did. The guys in charge kept telling us not to be so negative, and thought we were over-reacting and predicting the worst. The Event Manager said “Don’t worry, as soon as the band starts to play, they’ll all stop pushing forward so much, because they’ll be watching the show”. Continue reading

1st week in India: The Beginning…

Monday 1st February 2010

Hi there everyone!
Well, I have finally arrived and have started my new job!

For those of you who don’t know, I have just moved to Greater Noida, which is about an hour and a half outside Delhi, in India, to work for an Indian University as the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager. My job currently involves a number of things, including: improving the living conditions on the labour colony (a slum on campus where the cleaning staff and construction crew live), setting up a volunteer/internship programme with a number of local NGO’s and charities, and coordinating several student groups who want to focus on things like environmental issues, education and healthcare for the labour colony, etc.

On my first day, I was told that the hospital on campus has been dumping their bio-medical/hazardous waste outside the student residences, so I’m now drawing up a strategic plan for waste management on campus as well! Continue reading

2009 Round-up

Friday 8th January 2010

Hi Everyone,
My deepest apologies for not writing much over the last 5 months or so.

I think the last time I wrote it was about July and I was manically writing my masters dissertation. I’d have written sooner, but I’m afraid my life in the last 4 or 5 months has been unbelievably dull and so there really hasn’t been much to report!

Let’s see, I finished my thesis in August, and am proud to announce that I somehow wangled a distinction, and I graduated in December, so I am now, officially, Maya, Master of Science (Brief pause for applause and adoration….) Continue reading

Unwelcome advice…

Monday 27th July 2009

Hello again!

Well, not so much to report this time around. The dissertation deadline looms, and myself and most of my friends have been locked in our rooms chained to our laptops. I have personally reached a stage where I’m so sick of reading and re-reading paragraphs over and over that I basically can’t bear to work on it at all at the moment!

However, what amusing anecdotes can I regale for your amusement this time?

Well, last week I accidentally set my kitchen on fire, but I maintain that that was not my fault at all, except in a technical way.
I was cooking bangers and mash for a few of my classmates (a lot of them are international students who have never tried such a classic british meal!), as we’ve been getting together once a week to discuss our issues, problems and general dissertation-related nightmares. Continue reading

The bells, the bells!

Sunday 12th July 2009

Hello again everyone,
Just a quick update to let you all know how I’m doing.

I’m now back in Liverpool, attempting to write up my beasty dissertation and hunt for jobs at the same time!

It’s starting out pretty slowly, but I’m hoping I can get into the flow pretty soon. I’ve been going to the University library from 9 to 5, as they have these little private study rooms you can use which are really quiet. So, it’s like having my own office to go to really. The only problem is, they’re so quiet that the other day, I didn’t hear the announcement that the library was closing. I carried on working and when I looked at my watch and realised it was ten past six, I packed up and hurried downstairs, expecting to see an irate member of the library staff ready to give me a telling-off.

Instead, as I came down the stairs, something started beeping over and over again, and it dawned on me that the place looked awfully deserted. I stood in the massive entrance area, yelling “Hello? Is anyone there?” before realising I was all alone, and clearly locked inside the giant library (hence the beeping of the alarm!).
I knew I’d set off the alarms, but didn’t really know what else to do, so I just went out the turnstiles as normal and went out the emergency exit door. Continue reading