8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: Essays (again). One student had managed to upload their submission with the ‘track-change’ settings still ‘on’. (This was a first, for me.) At least it demonstrated that the work had been thoroughly redrafted and edited before it was sent. As a consequence, the assessment felt like a collaborative endeavour.
(In the background: King Crimson’s Beat (1982).) In my mind, I reflected on that year, and the coal tips that I’d been driven past on the outskirts of Merthyr Tydfil:
The older you get the more time appears to compress. 1982 doesn’t seem so long ago from a psychological perspective. I’d begun keeping a dairy by then (which I’ve read on numerous occasions), so my knowledge of that year is fuller and more accessible than it is for years of which there’s no written record. Thirty-eight years separate then and now. Unless I live to the age of 98, I’ll not experience an equivalent temporal distance between now and then.
12.00 pm: The final two essays (one that failed to upload to Turnitin and another which was a sanctioned late submission) were available in good-old fashioned analogue mode: print on paper. ‘O joy!’ (No irony.) ‘Now, where’s my red pen?’:
1.00 pm: Lunch nostalgia:
I can’t remember a time when Heinz Baked Beans and Pork Sausages haven’t been in this world. Thus they’ve been, for me, an eternal verity … and an enduring comfort food when I’m poorly. Whatever its nutritional value, the enjoyment factor of this product is off the scale. It’s up there with fish fingers, chips (in a butty), and mushy peas, and my dear Mam’s beef stew (cawl) – which no one has ever been able to either emulate or surpass. Tears wiped away, I returned to essay marking. (In the background: Derek Bailey’s and DJ Ninj’s Guitar, Drums n’ Bass (1996). This is dirty guitar playing at its best.)
‘Ding Dong!’ ‘It’s here! It’s here!’:
The courier delivered an Ibanez Tube Screamer. It’s an overdrive effector, and one of the best (if not the most appallingly coloured) guitar pedals of all time. A classic. This mini version will fit into Pedalboard 1’s ‘guest’ slot, where there’s currently a looper unit. 3.30 pm: The final essay. (In the background, and in honour of Scott Walker’s birthday, I played his ‘Cossacks Are‘, from Drift (2006). My iTunes categorises the song as ‘rock’. The app doesn’t have either ‘avant-garde’ or ‘abstract’ or ‘challenging’ on its menu.
6.30 pm: Practise session:
7.30 pm: Essays completed, I was now on catch-up with postgraduate and research admin. In academia, responsibilities run in parallel. The opportunity to focus on one thing at a time has become a luxury, or at best a rarity.
1982, revisited in 2014: