7.30 am: Morning-tide:
8.15 am: A communion. (God’s mercy is not disposed grudgingly.) 8.45 am: Following on from yesterday evening’s work, I continued to bed-down the assessment administration, complete registers, plan dates for meetings, and clear a space over the next few days to deal with research commitments. As much time is spent on the aftermath of teaching as upon its delivery, these days. My Post-its are getting fewer, however. For the first time in a month, I can see the boundaries of my responsibilities again. Nevertheless, this will be a demanding semester on all fronts.
10.40 am: Off to School to deliver the ‘Time Management’ talk for the second-year Professional Practice module. (‘Listen carefully to what you have to say, John! You might just learn something’, nagged the voice.) To begin, a number of great mystery bore down upon the students:
I suspect that most in the audience took not a blind bit of notice of my advice. Perhaps they have to find their own way through the morass of competing priorities, out-of-one’s-depth experiences, intimidating deadlines, and the chaos of living. I sounded so pompous, knowing, and out of touch. Mercifully, this talk would have only one further outing.
12.00 pm: Back home, I completed the admin for the talk and generated emails in advance of any problems that may arise in the delivery of the Exhibition modules. (Anticipate. Delegate. Communicate.) I’ve a great many audio recordings of the lectures that have been delivered over the past fifteen years. Clearly, I can’t keep all of them. On what basis should a selection be made? At the very least, I want to keep a cross section for my children to hear when I’m gone. I’ve very few recordings of my own parents speaking. One was turned into a sound composition:
1.30 pm: Following lunch, I loaded my diary with ‘key dates’ for the academic year ahead. There were so many. But I’d rather face them with foreknowledge. (Which was a principle that I’d addressed to the students this morning.) 2.30 pm: On, then, to research admin. This type of admin furthers a cause in definable and fruitful ways. Less irksome in some ways and more, in others. However, my heart and mind were elsewhere, presently: haunted by spirit noises, hearing fearful screams, walking in dark forests, and imagining a sound of the world being blown to smithereens.
5.15 pm: Off to town for dinner. A treat. A laziness. An indulgence of my penchant for low-quality food. The food in our branch of this watering hole tastes like that in very other branch. Indeed, every meal on the menu tastes like every other meal on the menu. They’ve got consistency down to a fine art:
7.45 pm: On with research and assessment admin for the remainder of this troubling evening. Being no longer able to call myself ‘European’, in any meaningful sense, feels like a partial identity theft.