Things I was told this week

  • 2013-09-21 23.33.45You sure you can handle the Greek alphabet? You missed the first lesson so it might be a bit complicated.
  • I can tell English is your first language, but I really can’t tell what is. Are you… what are you?
  • Only 35% of UK PhD students manage to get their degree in less than four years. (WHAT)*
  • I’m not a taxidermist but I do research on taxidermy.
  • You’re surrounded by creative people, and you’ll need to start thinking about funding in a creative way.
  • Build something that represents your research topic in your mind. With Lego bricks.
  • How would you express that… in philosophical terms?
  • How about we stand up, walk to the front of the audience, then to the corners of the room, unfold the pieces of paper and stay absolutely silent for the whole duration of it? It’s powerful. Isn’t it?
  • Oh, you got a scholarship? Niiiiice.
  • No, this won’t be enough of a proof of residency to open a bank account. And neither will that.
  • The photo on your student ID looks great!
  • You look like Lady Gaga in your student ID pic.
  • Bookbindings? So you’re a bookbinder. No? A bookmaker? What kind of artist are you then.
  • I’m not surprised to find you here, you were one of the best students.
  • How could you be Italian and not have seen ‘The Great Beauty’ IT’S THE BEST MOVIE THAT’S EVER BEEN MADE
  • All first year research students set up an exhibition. Collectively. Don’t dismiss this chance.
  • You’ll need a bank account to do that.
  • You’ll need proof of residency to do that.

* I think I can explain that. Very few of British PhD students get scholarships (compared to Italians). UAL only gave out eight this year – and there were 30, maybe 35 students at Welcome Week. The majority of them tries to balance a part-time (or full-time) research degree with a part-time (or full-time!) job. No wonder it takes them more than four years to get a PhD (the success rate grows to 80% if you give students up to 15 years to complete it). And some get money from their family or from loans. Kudos to them – I would not be able to do that.

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