Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
- Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.
Many thanks for your understanding.
In the past week, I’ve spent almost fifty hours working. You might be thinking that it’s not much different to working a 9-5 office job, but you have to remember that 9-5, when lunch is removed, is only seven hours, and that legally includes a number of breaks, and I’ve taken all breaks out of my ‘working’ time. And I’m still above the European Working Time Directive level.
But let’s just imagine that I do a similar amount of work to a typical office job. You have to remember that when I’m working, I have to be concentrating constantly, so that I can recall any fact that’s spouted to me at any point several months later. It’s the equivalent of me coming up to you today and asking what phone number you dialled at 14.30 on 29th July 2004. It requires an enormous amount of concentration for an extraordinarily long period of time. Much longer than you probably spend in your office. Oh, and I don’t get paid. In fact, I pay for the priveledge.
I think it’s also fair to say that, on top of a fifty hour working week, it would be very difficult to get a part-time job and stay sane. I also need a faintly ridiculous number of books, specialist equipment, and printer paper and ink. I’ve printed well over 1000 pages in the three weeks alone.
Don’t you think, therefore, that’s it’s slightly bizarre that medical students receive exactly the same level of student support as those doing International Human Rights Law at the Univeristy of Ulster, who study for just three – yes, 3 – hours per week? Where is the sense in giving the same support to someone working 50 hours as someone working for three? I don’t see it.