There is an evaluation of the university’s research activities going on and we’ve been asked to stay at work until 17.00 in case the evaluators will come to visit the institute. I doubt I would be here otherwise anymore. I came early again because of the enlightenment-course and even though I took the time to write a non-work related letter after it, I still think the day has been long enough. I could use the time to read, but I’m so tired again that I start to fall asleep as soon as I’ve managed a page or two. I doubt the evaluators will even come, but who knows.
I hope that they are at least being thorough with the rest of the faculty. I heard a rumour today, that one of them wouldn’t be taking the job very seriously and would be using this opportunity basically for tourism and advancing own research interests. Their report has an influence on how much money we will be getting, so it’s rather troubling if one of the evaluators won’t take part in the whole process. I wonder if it would be good or bad for the faculty if I should mention about this in the odd chance that I should ran again into some of the people in the money-distributing end. Is it the task of the university to control that the people evaluating them are doing their job properly? Hmm, maybe it is just a rumour, a misunderstanding, and the person in question is busy evaluating and not taking sightseeing tours. One may hope.
Another fifteen minutes and then I’m going home. I have Bernhard Schlink’s the Reader with me and I think I will be able to finish it in the train. I remember that French girl speaking about it in Frankfurt. When was it, three years ago? I don’t remember her name anymore, but I think it must have been that afternoon we went to visit the Goethe-museum. She had heard a rumour – always rumours – that Bernhard Schlink was really M. S. Or was it that M. S. was really the man in the book, Michael Berg? Yes, I think that was it, that Schlink was writing the story of his friend M. S., when he was writing about Michael and Hanna. I doubt it’s true. I cannot see anything of the book’s Michael in the other one.
I like the book. It doesn’t flow easily and it is not always easy to lose oneself in it, but I think it may be partly the translations fault. I’m sure it would be better to read it in German, but I don’t quite trust my language skills yet. I’ve read two books in German by now, but they were rather easy ones. I’m still at about page ten with that book by Imre Kertész I started months ago and I think Schlink is probably more in his league than the other two. Oh, who knows, who cares. I’m reading it in English and that’s all there is to it. The book is about dealing with guilt (personal and collective), building identities, feeling abandoned and hurt by love. One of them books that deserves contemplation. I probably ought to finish it though before I start analysing it too much.
Yup, it’s five o’clock. The evaluators – I hear – were here for about two minutes, but they never made a tour or wanted to talk to the researchers. It would be interesting to know if they were all here or not. I’ll ask tomorrow – maybe – but now I’ll go home, see what else I got from the library yesterday and eat some of the apple pie I baked.
- Tschk, girl, you were supposed to finish that book about the enemies of Enlightenment!
- I’ll read it tomorrow. There’s still almost two hundred pages to go and I am too tired to read it today.
- You’ve been too tired for the past five days, you lazy buffoon. Take it home! No touching Schlink or apple pie before you’ve read at least half of it.
- Come on! I’ve been at work for almost nine and a half hours already.
- Yep, out of which you have spent more than four doing something that doesn’t really smack of work. Right? Am I right or wrong? Huh? Right?
- Fine, I’ll read half of it, but not a word more.
- That a girl.
- OH, SHUT UP!!!