May 19, 2020

WFH: DAY 46. 8.15 am A communion. 8.45 am: I wired-up my ‘play’-station and tested the system, so that I could twiddle and click in between tutorials and admin tasks. I need to build into my regime reasons for standing up and walking around periodically. Sitting for long periods is problematic for me. Thus working from home requires intelligent, practical management. Today was set aside for MA fine art tutorials and marking, principally.

9.30 am: The first of two tutorials. The students are now moving out of making mode into presenting mode. Their Powerpoint submissions were shaping up. As each week goes by, our responses to lockdown change subtly but noticeably. We become increasingly aware of how narrowly circumscribed our lives have become. Through video conference, we each see into the other’s small world. There’s an energy transfer that takes place in the context of real-world one-to-one tutorials that’s entirely absent in conference-call engagements. Perhaps the awareness that we aren’t talking to an actual person but only to the image of that person forestalls the experience.

11.00 am: An impromptu tutorial, followed by a ‘testing time’ for the station’s sound modules:

12.00 pm: I joined a university admin conference call to resolve issues related to the same. Talking is so much better than emailing. You’re more likely to listen, measure your response, read other people’s reactions to the discussion, and appreciate the general tone and drift of the discussion as it moves towards an agreed conclusion. 12.30 pm: I made a practical response to the conference outcome before lunch.

2.00 pm: On with tutorials. We’re all trying to keep it together in different ways. No one person’s challenges are the same as another’s. It’s the fortitude that each shows in the face of them that both inspires and encourages the rest of us to persevere. I suspect that we, who’ve experienced life and work during lockdown, will be transformed in ways that would not have been possible under normal conditions.

4.00 pm: Tutorials over, I read:

6.30 pm: I listened:

Of all the lockdown virtual services, it was (for me) the most uplifting and engaging. Each of the choir recorded their parts at home. I’m astonished at how the ambiances of different domestic contexts combine in such away that make the collective sound so cathedral like.

7.30 pm: I took up the cause of postgraduate admin in order to process recent and pending applications.

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