January 27, 2021

If you don’t change, then, you’ll decay.

WFH: DAY 15. 7.15 am:

7.45 am: A communion. As of yesterday: There’re have been 100,000 (more, in fact) deaths from Covid-19. The number strains at the imagination. I’ve not lost either a relative, or friend, or colleague to the virus. I suspect that, until I do, that figure will remain an appalling abstraction. Today, too, we remember the six million Jews, and the millions of other discriminated groups, murdered by the Nazis during World War II. A ‘mass-mortality event’, as its called, brought about by a mindless piece of DNA is one thing. Premediated and systematic mass murder at the hands of one’s fellow human beings is quite another.

We’ve understood the true value of education during this pandemic. Along with loving relationships, health, wellbeing, and physical sufficiency, it forms part of the bedrock of normative human necessity. Thus, we must strive to teach with the utmost of our ability under the present conditions, and, likewise, to learn with all the determination that we can muster. This is the unspoken compact. 8.15 am: I made preparations for the day ahead and the second part of the week.

9.30 am: The annual, semester 2 introduction to the BA Exhibition modules. We do not/cannot yet know the shape the students’ final show will take. Nevertheless, we hope, we envision, we work towards something tangible, meaningful, and climactic.

10.30 am: Afterwards, I sped to the School where I picked up my papers for the Art/Sound module, which commences on Friday. I met with no one. My office appeared frozen in a past moment. Nothing had changed. Equipment and documents remained in the same place as I’d left them before Christmas. Little dust had accrued in my, and the tutees’, absence.

11.00 am: Back home, I participated in an MA coffee morning. It was gratifying to hear how the work of those students whom I don’t teach are progressing with their work, against the odds. ‘We’re all in this together’, was the overriding sentiment of the discussion.

12.00 pm: I returned to marking admin and Teams ‘issues’. The problems that are most stressful are those which are, by their nature, out of one’s control and inexplicable. If a problem can’t be understood, then, there’s a risk that it’ll occur again. (Unacceptable.)

1.30 pm: Back to REF-ing, amid queries about Teams and Turnitin and mark finalisation for my MA modules. Now, this would be a luxury. These days, they come, like sorrow, ‘not single spies, but in battalions’:

3.30 pm: I endeavoured to focus on just one thing for the remainder of the day. 7.30 pm: I developed the ‘case study’ section’s slide sequence in readiness for Friday afternoon, commented on a BA dissertation outline, and considered the problematic of live-streaming video content through a PowerPoint shared online. I may be up against a wall with this one.

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January 26, 2021
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January 28, 2021

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