28 Oct 2016

Back to Reality: The Life of Lithuanian Academic

I don't know how about you, but when someone mentions academic life, you usually would think about prestige, academic achievements and world-wide endorsement. Well, here in Lithuania things are a little bit different.


As you know, I am a PhD student (I recently entered my third year). I also work at the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore as a junior researcher in the Folklore Archives' Department. According to all logic, I should be happy since I have both work and studies which guarantee me both interesting  activity and reasonable income. Well, the first one is quite right, but the other one is more than complicated. 


You see, my position at the Institute earns me less than 200 € a month. So, basically, I earn less than unqualified worker in my country. And, no, I'm not exaggerating. Basically what you see on my blog is kind of social experiment that I got involved in: how to survive and function as a normal member of society (I almost wrote "as a normal human being", but... that's not that far away, when you think of it) for my wage + my PhD scholarship (which is about 450 € and will finish together with my studies in less than two years). And I see that I'm doing pretty well...


...except for the fact that I'm drop-dead tired not only from my work and studies (especially my studies) but also from all the other little projects I engage in order to gain money and to maintain myself as a content and happy young adult. And I am not the only one, far from it. 


Today the breaking point was reached and we had a demonstration in front of our government building. And, guys, I was really happy to see that everybody - scholars, scientists, students - had enough of this. I do hope that this picket will affect the decisions of government, especially when we just had an election. 
   What I liked the most - that people were smiling. You know that they are strong, if they can smile in this unreasonable situation. And I got a feeling that today was a beginning of something big!



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