May 26, 2020

WFH: DAY 51. Yesterday was a time for putting things away, self-examination, planning future dispositions of the mind and heart, reaffirming determinations, and standing motionless on one spot.

I don’t often write to my constituency MP, but yesterday’s on-going debacle of governmental integrity and indecisiveness required a response:

8.00 am: A Communion. 8.45 am: Inbox plunder. 9.00 am: Today, there’d be fixed times for consulting social media streams. The last few days’ outrages have absorbed far too much of my social media time. I returned to the assessment of the MA presentations. (In the background: Brian Eno’s Music for Airports (1978).) As a teacher, it’s a real privilege to hear how students have been transformed though their education. ‘Through’ not ‘by’, for it is they who change themselves in the process of learning.

11.00 am: A final Vocational Practice MS Teams meeting. Teaching is slowly fading away. Assessment and forward planning will dominate our thoughts henceforth. The communal aspect of team meetings is as important as the content during the crisis. (I think it was more important than I realised, during the ‘before-time’ too.) It’s a way of, tokenly, being together. The artifice of the means is ameliorated by the memories of our past experiences of being physically present in the same room together. Thus who we are now, as a group, incorporates who we’ve been.

11.30 pm: Pause … before returning to assessments and reading material in preparation of a full-day of PhD supervision tomorrow.

1.30 pm: Ten minutes’ respite. In that period, unsummoned, a powerful feeling (although that isn’t quite the right word) of a time past arose within me. I’ve experienced this before. It’s always evokes a daytime during winter, just before Christmas. I experience an extraordinary sense of well-being and optimism. On this occasion, I approached a church (I assumed), where someone (whose identity was unknown to me) was waiting.

2.00 pm: An ‘extraordinary’ meeting of staff. How to reboot an art school. We’ll look like a hospital come September, what with the sanitization and other health and safety provision. All of which are crucial. The considerations that’ll need to be discussed in and among universities throughout the world are many and great. Higher Education will have a decidedly dystopian feel about it in the immediate future.

3.30 pm: On with planning admin, following the meeting. 4.30 pm: In an elegiac mood:

7.15 pm: Email catch-up, admin completion, and onto to further PhD preparations.

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