WFH: DAY 54/LENT 23. 7.30 am: Communion and morning exercise. I headed for the woods. Wet leaves and mud were compounded beneath my feet. The wind blew in the tree tops, wood-pigeons cooed, and squirrels scampered across thin branches like seasoned tightrope walkers.
8.30 am Tea #2. I surveyed the week ahead. This was the last one for teaching, before the Easter vacation. There was much to pack in. My preference was to see all my charge, even if it was only for a ‘compact-tutorial’, before I drew down the shop’s shutters on Friday. (That said, I’d be contributing a session to the PhD Writing School, next Tuesday.) The Easter period is crucial for the undergraduates. They’d receive my marching orders on Wednesday and Friday. But, equally, the MA and PhD students ought to be given an opportunity to touch base with me before the three-week hiatus.
10.00 am: There was to be an online application event all-day Saturday, for which I needed to prepare a PowerPoint introduction to undergraduate Painting at the School of Art. Not that I’d be making any further contribution to it after July. (In the background: Miles Davis, Milestones (1958).)
What do applicants need to know, and what do they already know? What is their prior experience? What are their expectations? What are they looking for? What do they need? How does one frame questions on their behalf? Their needs, today, are somewhat different to mine in 1977, when I started my BA (Hons.) degree. At undergraduate level, there is (I believe) the possibility of an age-gap developing, the longer you teach. Their world and points of reference aren’t those of the teachers, necessarily. Over time, one’s instincts as a teacher become increasingly out-of-sync with those of the tutees, in my experience. Mature students are a different matter. With them, there’s a greater potential for adaptability on both sides.
3.00 pm: Task completed. I moved on to review a Professional Practice PowerPoint, which I’ll need to voice-over this evening and work upon in the interim. (It won’t be possible to move out of the PowerPoint to external internet sites (as I would have done in real-world delivery) without moving in and out of various screen shares. That would be doomed to disaster. Therefore, screenshots of site pages that I’d reference in the talk were captured and converted to PowerPoint slides. 5.00 pm: I attended a Zoom webinar, hosted by Sarah White (at Morphe Arts), introducing ideas that she’s been working on towards developing a PhD proposal that will cross theology and fine art performance:
6.00 pm: I was hungry. Past my dinner-time. 7.30 pm: I Panopta’d my lecture for the Professional Practice module. It took two takes. 9.15 pm: Emailery, and a rationalisation of tomorrow’s teaching.