Okay, so I have been a little lax recently – I have been submersing myself in the wonder, exciting world of archives! Or are they?
So, what is it like to be in the company of the archives? Thought provoking? Engaging? Hungry for more? Exciting?
For me… not so much.
My experience has always been a bit dull, boring and isolating. I am completely over encountering people who are rude, ignorant, unhelpful and egotistical … I could go on!
I have spent 3 days archive diving for material and I have spent several hours a day without having a conversation with anyone. Let alone asking for help from someone. I struggled to use the lockers yesterday, I had people behind me watching me struggle and then asking me to move because their locker is, ‘just below yours’. People have coughed, snotted and sneezed over my desk without apologising. One woman had a go at the barista for giving her a paper cup for her peppermint tea. I mean, what the hell is wrong with people?
Old cliché of Black Eyed Peas, but genuinely where is the love???
Sometimes these experiences really make me question my career as a historian. Do I really want to be associated with these people?
If anything I become quite reflective when I have time away from Liverpool, my parents, my Moosh and of course my perfect girlfriend, and I wonder why do I do this?
All I have ever wanted is to exceed, to teach people and to ‘do’ history. But at what cost? I want my work to be accessible to the public, I want to be approachable to people and students, I want to chat with people about things other than research.
The more I think this, the more I think other people in my position must be thinking the same!!!! I guess that is my reason to suck it up and trundle through and be bloody successful!
I will be the girl with the candyfloss hair, the nails and male and I will be far from the academic clique but I will still succeed because I will help, advise and support young researchers and give them the help that I haven’t had.
I am currently writing this in the café, there are several families, students, couples and colleagues, business people and academics. I can hear the chatter, teaspoons clinking and coffee being brewed. Yet there are about 15 singletons. I wonder if they are thinking the same as me? or are they too focussed on their next big research project where this circle of isolation begins. Hmmm… I wonder.