May 27, 2021

Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished (Proverbs 11.21).

Wednesday, May 26. I’d suffered no significant side-effects following my second AstraZeneca jab, other than a sore arm and mild tiredness. 7.30 am: A communion. I determined to get to the end of the diary pages and posts before beginning anything else today. 10.00 am: I’d achieved my ambition. Now, I’d only to read through the whole 1,000 posts once more for sense, while Mr Iliff fixes the outstanding coding anomalies caused by successive updates to, and replacements of, the WordPress and third-party style sheets over the years. Once that process is complete, I’d turn my attention to this present diary’s irregularities. These, I anticipate, will be far more straightforward to resolve. Given that I was someway ahead of the marking schedule, I pushed on with the final edit of the initial dairy.

The two diaries provide a close approximation of my teaching practice and pedagogical outlook (‘philosophy’ would imply a too systematic approach) during the final decade of my teaching career in Higher Education. I doubt whether there are many kindred online testaments to the same. My children will also understand what their father did — of necessity — with his time (and theirs) during that period of their lives. 4.15 pm: I basked in the sun as I walked among the graves, before returning to the fray.

Throughout the day Dominic Cummings, one of the Government’s former chief advisors, went ‘rogue’ and did the dirt on his colleagues and their performance during the pandemic. He confirmed — although provided little by way of evidence for — what we knew instinctively. And it was appalling. My heart goes out to those who have suffered unjustly and unnecessarily at the hands of not only incompetent but also knowingly negligent, heartless, and self-serving Government leaders. Their names should go down in infamy.

Thursday, May 27. 7.30 am: An Outlook lookover. I put it one and half hours on the diary read-through. Confronting my own history so often and intently, as I’ve done over the last few weeks, has been emotionally wearing. The process makes the past uncomfortably present. I’ve come to realise that I now no longer feel the same emotions towards events as I did at the time they occurred. Perhaps this is unsurprising; but it’s also sobering. One may either ‘get over’ or ‘move on from’ or ‘find closure with regard to’ those incidents that involved regret, betrayal, disappointment, loss, failure, injustice, disgrace, humiliation, follies, and hurt. But so, too, may one’s capacity to feel become jaded in the process. The heart and will can only take so much. The ‘scar tissue’ of successive surgeries numbs the nerves beneath.

9.00 am: I confronted the emails, before taking an hour to send a PhD student feedback on their recent submission, before setting-up my ‘table’ to begin moderating modules that aren’t under my co-ordination, and before taking a final view of the MA and BA Fine Art exhibitions. Seeing work on the walls of a gallery — as distinct from on the pages of PowerPoint submission — is like an ice-cold glass of water on a very hot day. I felt reinvigorated. The pandemic and various lockdowns had not prevented the students giving of their best.

1.30 pm: I completed a further page of reading and revising posts before embarking upon moderation at 2.00 pm. Some of my allocations had not yet been awarded a grade. I’d need to wait on the first markers. In the interim, I continued reading and remedying diary posts before walking among the graves in the ‘Italian Quarter’ of the municipal cemetery. Many of the deceased had travelled from Bardi, Italy originally — no doubt encouraged by those whose who had already emigrated to Aberystwyth to ship their lives here too. 6.30 pm: Practise session. 7.30 pm: ‘Diarism’.

Anticipations:

My mind is preoccupied by the sounds of coalmines (or at least, as I remember them). Some were unearthly — in the sense of being both subterranean and suggestively supernatural. (March 15, 2015).

I’ve also been drawn to recordings associated with coal mining in South Wales during the 20th century. (This returns me to a preoccupation with which I was engaged at the beginning of my academic career.) (March 18, 2015).

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