Naked Minotaur, ancient and modern science, and a MOOC - and no REF in sight!
So, the great day has passed. I retired on Tuesday. I suspect retirement from The Open University proceeds very differently from the practice in most universities, let alone most jobs. Since I was working from home on The Day, absolutely nothing happened. No presentation of a clock, no round of drinks with colleagues down the… Continue reading Doing it
So, I'm entering the final stages of the official side of the process. My P45 has arrived (for non-UK readers, that's the form which ends an employment and states the tax paid in it, so that if you were moving to a new job they could see your tax status) and tomorrow I have my… Continue reading Approaching the exit door
Today I rearranged what I had to do in order to take up my first Retirement Activity. I discovered that there's an over-50s Tai Chi class every Tuesday, under five minutes' walk from our house. I did some Tai Chi many years ago when I was a resident tutor at what is now Liverpool Hope… Continue reading And… relax
A new milestone has been reached; in answer to the question 'So when is it that you're retiring?' the answer is now, 'At the end of this month'. However, while part of my brain is getting used to this interesting prospect, another part doesn't seem to have caught up with it. This is a very… Continue reading It’s this month…
There's no need for academics to work over the Christmas period, which in the U.K. now extends from Christmas Day (or even Christmas Eve) until after the New Year Bank Holiday. After all, we're hardly 'essential workers' like doctors or midwives. At my university, and at some others I've heard about, not only do the… Continue reading Christmas for academics
It's an odd process, this retiring business. Last week, I filled in the form stating how I want the percentage allocation of the lump sum and the pension to be managed, and posted it: that felt like a very serious step. But there are all sorts of other, tiny, steps happening and it seemed like… Continue reading Stages of withdrawal
In a previous job, when I was Head of Department, I carried out one of those required induction meetings for a new colleague. We went through various aspects of his first few weeks as a lecturer and reached the point where I asked 'And what about you; do you have any questions?' There was a… Continue reading Down the pan: universities and toilets
Today I acted as a PhD external examiner for the final time. If you've read discussions of what the responsibilities of a retired academic should be, you'll maybe have seen 'examining PhDs' in there, as part of our supposed duty to the next generation of scholarship. However, having examined more PhDs in the last three… Continue reading PhDs: what are we doing?
After I handed in my notice, I could have let things wind down gradually. The Open University requires a long notice period, six months, but unlike brick universities it doesn't have just a couple of days in each year on which you are allowed to go, so I could pick my time. However, I delayed this… Continue reading Traitor to the cause? Why I wrote a MOOC