April 30, 2019

8.00 am: A communion. 8.45 am: ‘Where are my keys? Have you seen my keys?’ Along with a mislaid wallet and phone, the loss of keys are among those evils associated with early mornings – when I’m in a rush ‘and don’t have time for this’ – that put me into a proper tiz. In my head, a discussion with myself: ‘Search methodically, John. Look on the study worktops, on the telephone table, on the bathroom window sill, on the third step of the bottom staircase. Are you wearing the same trousers as you were yesterday? What!? ARE YOU WEARING THE SAME TROUSERS AS YOU WERE YESTERDAY? Ah!’ I felt like the woman in the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15.8–10).

9.30 am: The final MA fine art tutorials (either in person or on Skype) for the exhibiting students began. As we move closer to finalisation, problems and their solutions become clearer and more defined. However, so also do all those things that could possibly go wrong. Managing an over-anxious imagination is key. ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof’. Therefore, confront obstacles, disappointments, and discouragements on a day-by-day basis.

12.30 pm: A lunchtime meeting, over lunch, with my colleague Dr Forster. We’ve always found it useful to, periodically, talk over our case notes on the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral painters whom we teach. 1.45 am: I set-up the seminar room in preparation for an afternoon of the MA Vocational Practice presentations:

Their contributions were salutary and, at times, both moving and impressive. Quite apart from its function as an assessment, the occasion enables the participants to recognise their commonalities. I applaud their honesty, modesty, and labour. 5.30 pm: Homeward.

7.30 pm: There’d been a flurry of email activity throughout the day, which I’d not had an opportunity to address. Some would need to be kicked into the long grass while I considered my options. Others could be dispatched immediately and with panache.

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