Your life/My life.
8.00 am: A communion (in my studio on this occasion, while the study was presently out of action). A change of context alters the complexion of the discipline, to a degree. 8.30 am: My penultimate weekly pilgrimage, for a while, to the Old College to oversee one of my exhibiting MA student’s concluding efforts. Steering an artwork into harbour is a delicate task.
9.30 am: Back at the mothership. I liaised with Mr Garrett; he was completing the main structure of the exhibition space. Along with his helpers, he has moved a very large mountain in just a few days. The first of the students had begun to prepare their space.
9.45 am: Admin badminton: in effect, knocking emails to and fro between recipients and senders. 10.15 am: I returned to postgraduate marking, and examined the Vocational Practice student’s returns on their teaching experience with the undergraduates. I’m always impressed by the postgraduates’ wisdom, perception, and tact as temporary tutors. And, for the majority, this was only their first bite of the apple of pedagogy.
11.00 am: A Skype consultation with a prospective MA student from overseas. On this occasion, they could see me (and, boy, did I look tired) but I could only hear them. That was a moderately unsettling experience. The social media equivalent of a one-way mirror:
11.30 am: Prof. Meyrick and I battled in vain with a dippy electronic form. 12.00 am: Another MA Fine Art interview. I admire mature applicants. They come already with a skip-load of responsibilities on their plate – either parenting or caring for elderly relatives or battling with ill health – and yet they’re still up for the challenge of another degree. And when they begin, the majority burn like Roman Candles. They’re also an eloquent illustration of the principle that those who give most to their education receive most from it in return.
1.40 pm: Wil ‘the carpet’ postponed his visit until tomorrow. Therefore, I could remain at home in a bang- and bump-free environment to continue marking:
In between reports, I sourced software for the new computer and corresponded with this mornings MA student’s attempts to dock. They were now within the harbour walls. Here are some extracts from my comments on the Vocational Practice students’ first foray into one-to-one tutorials in fine art:
Teachers are always learning from their tutees, trust me. We teach out of principle rather than, necessarily, from an intimate knowledge of the themes and processes with which the students are engaged. None of us can cover all the ground. A good teacher is both a generalist and a specialist … You didn’t provide solutions to the student’s problems but, rather, presented ideas and precedents, and pointed to resources, that could enable them to answer their own questions. That’s a hallmark of sound pedagogy. Yes, teaching is a sobering responsibility. But the student’s success or failure doesn’t begin and end with the teacher, mercifully.
7.30 pm: I continued with marking.