Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I could have been a contender

So the realities of combining a busy work period with MA studies well and truly kicked in yesterday - alongside the slightly strange diversion of finally having my Mastermind show aired. I could have been a contender, in fact I was, but the chance for glory withered quickly as I rather mucked up my specialist subject: SP Koralev.

For the millions who didn't see it, if they had been handing out medals, I just missed bronze......sounds good 'til you realise each heat is a four horse race! Actually, if I'd have been on the heat shown last week, I would have finished second. But this time round, the standard was higher; I messed up two pronunciations on my specialist subject, and missed a couple of gifts on the general knowledge round. But that's what the pressure of sitting in the black chair under the spotlight does: realistically, I should have scored 21. My final score was 17. It was academic anyway as the lady who won romped home with 26 points. Still, my mum was proud, and rang me after last night's show to say I looked nice on the telly!

I only just made it home to see the show. My morning had been spent trying to advance projects on three fronts, while I attended my first lecture as an MA student as my globalisation module kicked in.

Work was frustrating. I'm about to hand my main summer project back in house - the original 15 days consultancy has been 23 so far but progress has been painful. We've made strides in some parts of the project, but mere shuffles in others. Too many meetings and not enough action, but this phase is finally coming to a close. It has the potential to be successful - but not if the client continues to rely on external consultants to deliver the outcomes. That won't happen: it has to be owned in-house.

While I've just finished one of my regular publications, the other is proving very slow this time round. It's not the client's highest priority, so isn't getting the push yet from in-house. It will - but occasions like yesterday when I had a telecon booked and interviewees from within the client didn't call are the bane of a small business' life. I was more narked about the fact that hanging around for the call that never came almost made me late for uni - and I was certainly too late to pick up my car parking permit, so I had to park miles away.

My first session at Brunel was an eye-opener. My course mates on this module come from Saudi Arabia, China, the US, Pakistan, the Ukraine, Russia, Japan, Poland, Nigeria, Ghana and Sheffield. It's fantastic to have such a global mix, though it's clear that there may be some difficulties in language and ways of working. How ironic that in starting to study globalisation together, we're not on a level playing field - though I suspect the intellectual high ground in our class may not reside in the G8.

My own concern is just how theoretical the course will be. I've spent 20 years in the applied world, and just getting my head around the language of theory is challenging.

Anyway, a busy day all round and I slept soundly last night. Too much work to do today to stop and think, before an evening flight to Dublin for the first of two trips this week....I suspect I'll be reading a lot about globalisation in the airport lounge....!

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