I arranged my office furniture so colleagues could not stop to talk | Jonathan Wolff

Once academic work was collaborative and enjoyable now for many its a series of lonely billable hours Folkore has it that the reason why the academic year is punctuated with a long summer break is to allow students to return home to help with the harvest. I suppose there must be a few students who still do this, but, frankly, it would seem to be something of a minority pursuit. These days the main purpose of the break is to allow universities to maximise their commercial revenue through summer rentals, and to provide purveyors of stationery a second annual opportunity to market their wares, and especially new diaries. Those academic year diaries have missed a trick, though, by not having …

Can you afford to be green when you’re not rich? I kept a diary to find out

Politicians and corporations have placed the burden of environmental responsibility on the consumer but how easy is it to go green when youre barely getting by? How easy is it to go green, to make deliberate, eco-friendly choices when youre barely getting by? Can you be green and poor, as I am? This is the question I have been pondering as politicians and corporations have placed the burden of environmental responsibility on the consumer: stop using plastic straws, carry reusable shopping bags, recycle everything. I live in an environmentally conscious place: a rural town with thriving local food businesses, a farmers market and many organic farms. But its also a small town in central Appalachia, in the poorest county in …

Reality check: life behind Insta-glam image of social media influencers

Online they feature in glossy posts as the epitome of cool. But that is often worlds apart from how they live their lives Standing amid the reeds and staring pensively into the distance, Jordan Bunker looks every part the moody model, dressed head to toe in black in a direct contrast with the setting. Another image from his portfolio shows him in industrial environs, sporting a minimalist brown trench coat as he looks directly at the camera. However, the reality for the 24-year-old is far from the glamour associated with the fashion world. In his pyjamas in bed hes fighting a cold at the home he shares with his parents in Leicester, Bunker says his set-up is worlds apart from …