I have high writing standards. So does my lecturer for my practical statistics course, which is fine – we are, after all, being judged on our writing.

So when I take the time to carefully compose an email to said lecturer to explain that my group has somehow managed to submit the same file twice online, rather than two different files once each, and her response in its entirity is:


It is somewhat infuriating.

Apart from anything else, it takes, what, twenty seconds to write:

“Dear Rachel, thank you for letting me know. This should be fine. Dr. XYZ.”

It seems students aren’t the only people who could benefit from reading this unprofessional emails post.

On Trust, and the Male Contraceptive Pill

In the UK, to the best of my knowledge, there are no TV adverts for contraceptive pills, female or male. That’s probably due to the fact that the NHS decides which pills we get.

So I was a bit bemused when I read this post by Balancing Jane about contraception. Of course, stories about male contraceptive pills do the rounds every year or so, but they always seem to be in a place that is a long, long way away from the UK, and never seem to get reported beyond the initial “invention” stage, if you like.

Anyway, it got me thinking about trust, and specifically, whether I would trust a male partner to be in sole control of our contraception.

If I had to answer a survey, and tick either [yes] or [no], I’d probably tick yes. But that doesn’t tell the whole story, because [yes]/[no] answers very rarely do.

I like to think that my relationship is built on trust (and a certain mutual fondness for bickering). And that ought to mean that I’d trust my partner to be in control of contraception. But deep down, I think I know that actually, I want to be in control of my contraception. Perhaps it’s because the consequences are worse for me than for him; perhaps it’s because I know he’s prone to being absent-minded. Perhaps it’s because my trust has its limits.

Whatever the reason, I don’t think I’d give up my side of the contraceptive bargain. A bargain that includes either taking the pill when he’s there to see, or telling him that I have done so, every single night. Perhaps that’s because his trust has limits, too.