I've been on the office floor, limbering up for this afternoon's Guardian Higher Education Network online chat about 'surviving your first academic job', though as I haven't been sacked yet, it's not clear whether I will actually survive it.
You can join in here from 1 p.m today: the other guests are frighteningly sorted professionally. I just hope their personal lives are a desolate wasteland of misery accompanied by a soundtrack of hysterical sobbing.
I'm ready: armed with quips, tips and a copy of Microcosmographia Academia, F. M. Cornford's 1908 guide to the young academic.
The Principle of Sound Learning is that the noise of vulgar fame should never trouble the cloistered calm of academic existence. Hence learning is sound when no one has ever heard of it; and 'sound scholar' is a term of praise applied to one another by learned men who have no reputation outside the University, and a rather queer one inside it. If you should write a book (you had better not), be sure that it is unreadable; otherwise you will be called 'brilliant' and forfeit all respect.
University printing presses exist, and are subsidised by the Government [how times change], for the purpose of producing books which no one can read; and they are true to their calling.