Over the past few days (weeks) I have found myself visiting me old haunts...those that I used to dread most of the time, while I was a PhD student.
This time it has been different.
I have realised I actually liked it...it is one of those cases of "don't know what you've got till it's gone"...
Now that I am almost faced with unemployment --or at least it is looming in the horizon-- and have been away from my old institution for a bit, I can appreciate it better.
For starters, what magnificent surroundings! The most elegant I have set eyes upon, bar the Palaces of the Emperors of Central Europe...but as well, the Cafe culture and the chic boutiques.
Not so much to my liking are the hordes of tourists that I have had to deal, while skilful toreador(a) in my way out the the corresponding tube station.
But, let's not get over- nostalgic about it. After all, my last memory of this University was as an out-of-time PhD student rushing to write and print a thesis in an underground makeshift office.
Office? It did look more like a dungeon...no windows, no natural light...our only contact with the world was the internet.
It was the punishment for not finishing in the three years that they have allowed us.
There you go. The old "brush them under the carpet". They where trying to hide us, from the brand new PhD students arriving, so they don't get to disheartened at the sheer quantity of poor souls that have sign the best part of 3 years away and still haven't managed to finish their degrees.
Before the last month of our three years elapsed, we were told we had to move to the basement if we wanted to continue having an office! So me and three of my friends --together with a handful more graduate students-- joined the ranks of the "invisible" students. Our fall from Maths department paradise took us 6 floors downstairs into the basement.
It certainly worked, we all make sure we were out in the natural light fairly shortly.
We all looked a bit pale and weary, but have now got our coveted degrees...