January 30, 2019

When you’re a busy person, there’s little time to entertain self-doubt about your practice. You just get on with it. 

8.30 am: A slight flurry of snow that dissipated into rain. There was a sprinkling on the hills to the south. A grey blanket of cloud erupted into baroque cumulusness, before returning to its former state:

9.00 am: The annual undergraduate Exhibition 1 & 2: ‘Introduction’. This is, in part, a pep-talk to set us all on the royal road to self-improvement, ambition, and achievement. 9.45 am: Today we held the first in a series of Visiting Days, when applicants present themselves and their portfolios for review. The threat of bad weather will, no doubt, have persuaded many to come another day. I was in perpetual ‘stand-by’ mode, during which time teaching and assessment admin would be completed, pastoral duties acquitted, and writing furthered. (In the background, Penderecki’s Song of Cherubim.)

12.30 pm: an early lunch. The snow had melted into puddles:

1.30 pm: The first of my interviewees arrived. How hard it is to envision your life at 18 years old. At that age, I knew only today. And, in reality, that’s all we can ever know. ‘Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring’, the Proverbs advises. Sadly, I’ve outlived too many students who’d expected to have had a long and fruitful career ahead of them.

2.45 pm: Back to admin of the most butt-painful sort. So often in academia we construct ideals and expectations about education and it process that bear little relation to the delivery of teaching. Learning is often a chaotic experience. Like the birth of stars, intellectual awareness proceeds sometimes violently and messily. 4.30 pm: A file failed to save entirely. An hour’s work was lost. I made it up again in 15 minutes.

5.10 pm: Homeward.

7.30 pm: After the evening diary update and inbox scrutiny, I, now tired and longing to doze, pressed on with the writing. Discipline is established for times like this.

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January 31, 2019

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Jillian Hickzon
    January 30, 2019 9:47 pm

    Your tasks as tutor, lecturer, human beeing are equal to that of how me as a student feels, making the same human errors (in saved files lost work, lost time) It makes me feel better knowing that we are all the same behind the facade of our outward persona lol.


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