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Dr John Hawkins

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Zoo and Career Advice

Posted on 2015/07/18 22:14:17 (July 2015).

[Wednesday 15th July 2015]
I asked Erika what she'd like to do today on our weekly morning off together, thinking by this point she might be starting to get a bit bored of going to the zoo, but seemingly undeterred she wanted to go again. On our previous visit it had seemed like we'd barely seen any of the animals, and Erika had just enjoyed all the other stuff that happens to be there for entertaining kids, like the bouncy castle, the playground, and the carousel. To my surprise though today, we saw the bouncy castle shortly after arriving, I asked her if she wanted to go on, but she just said "maybe later" and then never mentioned it again. Instead she seemed to take a real interest in the animals today, and a lot of them seemed to be on particularly good form - the previously rather shabby and lacklustre camels looked like they'd had a haircut, which had put a bit of a spring in their step, and the occasionally lethargic lemurs had done whatever the opposite of making themselves scarce is. The actual zoological content of the zoo seemed to be doing such a good job of keeping Erika entertained today that she didn't even kick up a fuss when we were unable to find an animal biscuit in any of the cafes.

She even suggested we go and have lunch just before 12, which is normally a bit of a struggle, although in hindsight I suspect an ulterior motive, as she seems to have learnt by now that ice cream is only on the cards if she eats a proper meal first.

So we got an ice cream on the way out of the zoo - it is summer after all - but knowing Erika propensity to make a bit of a mess of it that meant I felt we shouldn't get on a bus/taxi until she finished it. She really lingered over it towards the end, so ultimately I carried her from the zoo all the way to nursery, a good 2 miles away. I was a bit exhausted by the time we got there.

In the evening, after my usual late Wednesday meetings (my "morning off" on Wednesdays actually just means I start work late and finish work late) I went for a late drink with a fellow alumni from Reading, who I'd supervised some practicals for whilst I was doing my PhD. I'd got an email from him out of the blue the other day asking for a bit of career advice so I did my best to try and help out.

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