To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die
Over the past few weeks, five people whom I’ve known, as either family members or friends or acquaintance, have either died or are passing away even as I write. Death sweeps across our lives like a plague wind, on occasions. At such times we – like characters in an Agatha Christie novel – look around at those who’re still standing and wonder: ‘Who’ll be next?’
8.00 am: A communion. 8.45 am: To School, under a static and banal sky:
9.30 am: Another MA inquiry discussion. We’ve had a significant increase in applications this year. And we were already doing well. A few are coming to us with other than a BA Fine Art degree under their belt. They’ve pursued art in the interim, off their own bat, and supplemented their want of subject-specific education by attending local art classes and workshops. They’re exceptional individuals, usually: innately gifted, passionate, self-motivated, and highly critical of what they produce. (You can’t teach those qualities.)
10.15 am: I did battle (again) with Blackboard’s feedback upload facility. This is not the most intuitive of applications. I popped into the double gallery, where Dr Roderick was curating an exciting new show. For the time being, it was all under wraps:
11.00 am: Ms Wildig and I attended a meeting with our Faculty’s new Postgraduate Officer to discuss the Postgraduate Monitoring process. A useful exchange of good ideas.
12.15 pm: Homebase, where I caught up with the incoming mail and preparing for the afternoon’s challenges. 1.30 pm: Post-lunch, I pushed to get my head around Blackboard’s rather hard-to-excavate sub-menus. But I was winning, now, not whining. Nevertheless, this was slow, repetitive, and exacting work. You’d not be able to polish your shoes at the same time, as it were. This was the last opportunity to check that the marks were correct.
The rain had fallen in a half-hearted way throughout the day. Time appeared to move more slowly. A dull inertia of mind and soul prevailed, unless challenged by the will to move forward. My iMac slowed and exhibited erraticisms in tandem. 4.00 pm: We both rebooted.
7.15 pm: The process of inserting marks and uploading feedback continued. The only way this will end is by me finishing it. Oh! The lessons life affords, if only we’d listen.