Sunday, October 11. Alt Crib, near Talybont:
Today, in contrast, a dispiriting, dribbling pall hung over the town. 8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: Emailery — taking on the weekend’s deposit. In parallel (often, several tasks are attended to at once these days), I prepared for another stint on the university’s Open-Day, from 9.15 to midday. In terms of the platform and its operation, I seem to forget so much between events. But so do others … which is a consolation. Unless you’re dealing with an application regularly, it fails to become familiar. 10.00 am: We were off!
I’m intrigued by the we use shorthand to express anticipated intervals for response or completion. ‘I’ll do it in two seconds’, usually means anything between thirty seconds and a minute; ‘It won’t take you five minutes’, often implies the task will require upwards of thirty minute to perform; and, ‘Can I half hour of your time?’ can mean an hour or more in reality. It was a quiet morning on the ether, which gave me some breathing space to respond to incoming mail, look-over tomorrow’s teaching, and read through my answers to the BBC’s questions in readiness for the afternoon session. 12.00 pm: Booth closed.
2.45 pm: ‘Contact’ — with the BBC presenter and researcher. It wasn’t live and its wasn’t from Alexandra Palace. Recorded from my desk, instead. But this is the way of things, for now — and it has much to commend it. No tedious trips to their local studio. 2.15 pm: Job done. I’d prepared sufficiently. My responses were dispatched economically.
2.30 pm: On, then, to explore the technicalities implied by an endeavour to communicate a sound file via PowerPoint in real time on Zoom, and without too much loss of quality. As academics presently, so many of our steps are across the terrain of unknowing. ‘Workaround’ is, more or less, an habitual state of mind. 4.30 pm: Walkabout is, more or less, a habit of life now:
7.30 pm: Back to the imponderable technical difficulties and Zoom testing. Moving computers, like moving house, is a tiring, tedious, but far less stressful. I’m on a learning curve with practically everything I encounter. You just keep pushing, don’t you. Because you’ve life, sufficient health, a job (still), a sense of vocation, and a determination never to be beaten.