June 25, 2020

WFH: DAY 76. 8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: Following a necessary late night’s work, I was a little sluggish to begin. The major event of the day would be the Final Exam Board meeting to confirm third-year undergraduate and MA marks. First, I held several video-call consultations (I must decide a term to describe these online engagements) focused upon enabling and support, rather more than teaching:

11.00 am: Back to my scrappy Post-it of ‘things to do’: reminders, mark-release preparations, and follow-up after tutorials. ‘Can I add a third monitor to my PC?’ I asked my younger son on WhatsApp. He made it; he ought to know. 11.30 am: Back to the review and collation of PhD research monitoring forms. As a result of the commitment from students and staff, the process has gone smoothly and to time so far.

2.00 pm: The aforesaid board meeting:

Both external examiners were present, along with all the main teaching staff. This was a first. I’m sure we all missed each other’s physical presence. But the camaraderie and determination to acquit ourselves fairly and honourably remained intact. Conference call (or whatever) is not an ideal facilitation for the process, but it’s more than adequate. The depth and breadth of analysis and review was not compromised.

4.30 pm: ‘Let me out!’ Signs of the times:

As I returned home in the sunshine, rain drops fell; but there were no rain clouds above. It was the early rain that heralded a more significant downpour later on. There was a distinct odour in the air: refreshing, organic, and comforting — like that of the rain which follows a drought.

7.30 pm: I finalised the last of the feedback and mark disclosures in readiness to be sent out on Monday morning.

A reflection upon an act worthy of Nero:

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