Saturday, February 05, 2005

Focus Group

Today I took part in a Focus Group.

"A Focus Group?" The Man asked, as I was preparing to leave. "What's that?"

"It's when someone asks a group of exceptionally intelligent people to explain things to him," I said. "Naturally he wanted me to be there."

"What will you be explaining?" asked The Man, after he stopped laughing.

"Internationalisation in Japanese universities and what it means for part-time foreign teachers," I said. "That's what his PhD is all about. Well, I think that's what it's all about. I'm not exactly sure. I wasn't really paying attention. I accepted because he's a nice person and I know how hard it is to study and work at the same time, and I wanted to help him."

"Uh-huh," said The Man, doubtfully. "Will there be drinks?"

"Um," I said, trying to look innocent. "He might have said something about refreshments..."

"I see," said The Man, knowingly.

"IT'S NOT LIKE THAT," I said. "We're a FOCUS GROUP. He said we didn't need to prepare, just sit around and talk about our experiences. I have lots of experiences I can talk about. I contributed to the internationalisation of one of my universities last year, twice, when I initiated conversations with Japanese English professors!"

"What happened?" asked The Man.

"Well, one turned out to be deaf, so not much happened that time," I replied. "And the other conversation turned out a little strange. But that's OK. I asked him if it was all right for me to bring my cynicism, and he said it was essential and please don't leave it at home."

"Oh, I see. A gossip session! You are going to sit around and complain about your jobs!" said The Man. "Isn't that what you do every Tuesday and Thursday evening after work anyway?"

"Well, yes," I said. "But this time will be different, because we'll be a FOCUS GROUP."






Etc etc

(It was both.)


Megan said...

This post made me laugh. I wish I knew of some organized bitch sessions, oops, I mean "focus groups," to join! Hope you got to knock back a couple drinks too!

Badaunt said...

There were drinks. In fact I have a headache now, to prove it.

You could probably organise something similar. Surely you have colleagues who would welcome the chance to sound off about their jobs under the guise of 'research'? (Especially if they were bribed with wine and pizza...)