Don's Diary

March 12, 1999

Saturday. Dream I am a professor lecturing to a class of naked male students. Tussling in bed, split the crowd into groups. Students move about reminding me of the benefits of being a didactic kind of lecturer with the audience in listen-and-learn mode. Too late, I avert my eyes. Wake expecting to find the room full of flesh.

Today, my schedule says I need to mark 15 assignments. If I do not I shall have to stay up all night because I have a turn-around bargain of a month to return assignments to the students. With fees they have become more aggressive about us meeting their expectations.

Explain to my daughter, seven, I shall be unable to go swimming with her. And no, I will not be free to dress Barbie up for her date with Ken.

Settling in my study, I like to think feminism continues to improve women's "lot" in life. Have a meal to cook for army officers because of research on officers' wives. They appreciate women with old-fashioned talents - child-bearing hips and a penchant for home cooking. Fourteen assignments down and a lasagne to go. Flowers arranged, table set and a sneaked-in assignment marked over cheese sauce. Lumpy but tasty, just how army boys like it.

Sunday

Wake late at 9am. A winter's day with a roaring fire is as far away as equal pay. Twenty more assignments to go, an externals report to write and then, relax.

Daughter is in big bottom lip mode. She could win a Miss Sulky contest and is not interested in the fact that women fought hard to give me the right to work on a Sunday and get paid. Try to explain to her that Barbies with large boobs would be homeless without my career.

Given her private education, she says the size of her dolls' boobs are irrelevant, it is the fact that I am ALWAYS in my study that upsets her. Tuck her into bed. Race to finish the last five assignments before 2am. Check our army functions diary before bed - hallelujah, nothing.

Monday

No flash conferences this week. No tax-man interviews. Leather trousers on, briefcase packed and away to Middlesborough. Telephone interview about sex shops in the morning and an upset student in the afternoon. An academic friend rings to tell me about her sore piles (I unkindly think: "Stand up and lecture, love"). Sisterhood clearly transcends haemorrhoids.

Tuesday

Elated my marking is over.

Senior lecturer in organisational development and behaviour at the University of Teesside's school of business and management.

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