Stanford Prison Experiment - Gripes Style

I have Theo locked in the bedroom Stanford Prison Experiment styleToday, I am enjoying my own Stanford Prison Experiment: I have Theo locked in a room and she's not coming out until I say so. (Bwah ha ha...).

Well, when I say locked in a room, I suppose I more accurately mean sequestered with a pile of study books, a radio, access to essential plumbing and with me bringing hot beverages and meals at regular intervals... (Theo has an exam tomorrow and is cramming like a bastard. She's not hopeful, but then again how many people are hopeful when faced with exams?)

In some respects, it is probably a blessing I am off sick (I know, I know - start of a new job and being off sick isn't great - but it's the fault of the deputy CEO! He brought the bloody 'lurgy in and the CEO sent me home so nyah! And I'll be back in the office coughing all over my spacious desk tomorrow come hell or high water...) in that it means I can stand guard over the TV and look witheringly at Theo should she dare to escape from her "study" (and offer sympathy in many forms should her resolve to study falter...), keep her away from the distractions of biscuits/cake/chocolate and idle chatter, feed her nutritious food at regular intervals, keep the attention seeking cats at bay so that they don't scratch and yowl at the door - and engage in any and all manner of other supportive actions that enhance Theo's reluctant study activity. I am the living embodiment of the iron fist within a velvet glove (or something). On reflection, I'm more a walnut whip - soft inside and melts easily with a bizarre arrangement of nuttiness on top, nowhere near as good as they used to be and not as popular as other confections... but I digress.

I am very proud of Theo for even sitting this bloody exam. She hates exams with a passion and has been getting stressed out by it for months already. So, regardless of outcome as far as I'm concerned just sitting the thing is a success. (Can you tell why my career as a teacher was shortlived? Hmm? Hmm?)

Anyhow... the new job. It's... Er... Still new. Still not entirely sure what I'm doing and wondering when things will start falling into place. I'll be recruiting for a new post in the near future and I'm trying to figure out what sort of skills a person will need to do the job... I'm still trying to figure out what skills I need to do the job, so it's tricky! I'll probably write more about it as I figure things out. One thing I can say is that although there have been huge changes in the staffing since I was there last there is a strange comfort in going back and not finding everything to be unfamiliar: there are still tempting biscuits by the printer, there are still untouchable tea-towels in the staff mini-kitchen and there is still a sense that it is possibly the gayest office outside of an LGBT centre...

In other news, I almost managed to convince Theo and one of her friends that I am a psychic while they were chatting on the phone (-actually, I'm just really good at linking together scraps of information from diverse sources -or gossiping in other words- and am also wondering if I am perhaps some sort of attractor of strange coincidences, because it certainly is a very random connection that I made and one that received a faintly hysterical/incredulous response...) but that is entirely another story. Needless to say I am considering buying a turban, crystal ball and setting up a stand on The Mound during the Edinburgh Winter Wonderland offering my services as "Gypsy Rose Gripes - seer, visionary and wearer of mystical hats." although I would need an internet connection and some serious cold and flu medication in order to recreate the circumstances... but it's a thought.

And so, as a post script, I've attached two top Chumba videos to this post (both from their latest CD The Boy Bands Have Won ). The first one, "Add Me" is Chumba's brief comment on the weirdness of the internet (social networking in particular and the perils thereof) and the other is "Charlie" - one of very few songs about Charles Darwin...which I dedicate to Theo and hope it does some good in her exam!