Now that my blog returns to its status of a PhDiary as I actually got a PhD position, I will introduce one flavour of regular postings. Instead of keeping in touch with people by mailing lists, livejournal, and everywhere else, there will be weekly postings here about life as a German PhD student.
So far, my entrance into German academics has had one feature above all else. Bureaucracy.
In order to even look at my contract, I needed to go, specifically therefore, to Jena, to fill out a questionnaire. This questionnaire is geared towards ascertaining that I am a good representant of the German state and its ideals. So, there are questions upon questions upon questions about my involvement with Stasi, my involvment with former DDR, whether I went to party schools, whether I’ve held party offices, et.c. et.c. Not to mention the centimeter-high stack of papers I got home to fill out on my own. With complete curriculum vitae from the age of 14. And Gods only know how many different obscure decisions to be made and forms to be filled in.
I still have a few open slots, but hopefully I can get help filling those in when I’m in Jena. I’m planning on ambushing the department secretary.
I have actually managed to read up a little bit on mathematics too – I still have a rather loose grasp of it; but it seems that the object of study for my next three years will be and various aspects of it. There will be more about this here on the blog in the future – I can promise that.