Well, so if you are really really sure I can ramble on I'll do it!! Thank you so much for the comments girls, we'll see how it goes with some normal posts then.
Work is really busy at the moment, you see, although exams only happen in December, staff have to submit exam questions in early October (4 weeks into term!) for the external examiners to review them and come back with comments. This system is ridiculous of course (how can someone in a different Country appreciate the type of questions you prepare and judge if they are appropriate without knowing the content of the module??) but it has to be done. And so we rush. Rush to prepare exam questions even before you'll know what you will teach during the semester, rush to comment on the external examiner comments, correct your questions (here is not like in the States, students must be given options within a question so that they can pass knowing 40% of the contents...ridiculous), rush them to the secretaries for printing and then rush some more when your colleagues do not stick to the deadlines and you look bad too. Ah well that's done now.
But the most demanding thing now is my research group. I have a 7 PhD students at various stages and 2 Post Docs. 3 of the students are finishing up and have started writing their thesis and one of them is having a nervous break down. Seriously. She is such a bright student, so mature for her age and in a day she turned into Satan. Still seriously. She wasn't herself, she was very aggressive with me (the boss!!!) and absolutely out of control. Believe you me girls, I actually didn't know what to do. After a few days she improved a bit and I waited a few more days and then talked to her. The poor thing was in tears every few words, she's worried she's in fact breaking down, she can't sleep, can't work or not work, she realises there's something wrong with her and doesn't know what to do. Needless to say I'm very worried for her. She's been my first student and it's like a daughter (now....I'm not that old!! and she's not young enough to be my daughter, but you know what I mean), she'll be going to the UK for a post doc, and she'll be alone over there. I tried to be very supportive, she was so apologetic and so on. I mean...I cannot go and phone her mum up can I? I'll keep a close eye on her though, hopefully she'll ake the advice of going to see a doctor soon.
Tomorrow I'll upate on the house!