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My morning so far

“Maybe I should blog this” I thought a few moments ago, as the first student of the day failed to appear.

It’s not the first time either – before the advent of ‘having a semblance of a proper job’ I’ve spent too many similar days sat in chilly rooms waiting for students to turn up for tutorials that have been booked weeks in advance. What’s rather more galling is that a decent percentage of those who don’t turn up then spend their time subsequently emailing and begging for feedback.

10:16 So, Here goes. A grand experiment in blogging my morning (which, I already suspect, will not be as funny as the Wales experiment of a few years back, but will be at least warmer from my point of view). I’m starting now, as the second student has failed to appear.

10:22 We should instigate some form of binding student/staff charter. I’m sure I read that Oxford have something similar. A ‘we pledge to teach you for x hours per week in exchange for you showing up at said teaching sessions and doing the work in between. Oh, by the way, would you like to read the work requirements for the module?‘ sort of thing. We could make them sign in blood. Especially today, as it was Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday yesterday. Well, maybe not in blood then. But something equally binding and painful.

10:26 Write note to self – call Dr B and arrange drinks for tomorrow evening. I have to be out of the house as the lovely futureMrsTom is having her hair test done, prior to becoming MrsTom. This is something far wiser heads than mine would advise (if I had asked them) that I stay well clear of. So, the pub it is. If MrJones, lately of St George would like to join us, he’d be most welcome. We can discuss Jack Bauer , US politics and contemporary parallels. With beer.

10:29 Third student due any moment. The tension is killing me.

10:45 Third and Fourth students both arrived! Blimey, this is a turnaround.

10:59 Fifth student, though, I have slightly lower hopes for. Having not seen them since the beginning of the module, I feel I can take the risk and put the kettle on.

11:02 Have tea. No fifth student though. A parcel of books (eight, I recall) is presently waiting for me in Droitwich, I am informed by Amazon’s ‘track your order’ page. It’s been waiting since the 18th of January, which is two days ago. I wonder how long it will take to get here. Answers on a postcard, or in the comments box.

11:04 Have twittered a bit this morning. Also have attracted several new followers. Don’t expect they’re the sort of followers that will donate money and sacrifice animals to me though. Which is a shame, all things considered.

11:07 Didn’t get around to finishing last week’s post about The Prisoner. The punchline to which was going to be that the writer for the ITV/AMC remake/reboot/reimagining of the series is also the lead writer for the BBC’s ‘bonnets and village life in proper Victorian England as it used to be‘ series ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ (wait for Chris to add comments about Flora Thompson’s original books probably not including a heartwarming Christmas special). Which, although I know that writers are writers and can turn their hands to anything, does strike me as a bit of a leap. So now you know.

11:32 Have discussed the commodification of art, Damien Hirst and Charles Saatchi. Quite interesting. Now reading about Joachim Becher, as next student hasn’t arrived yet. Becher wrote his universal language at age 26. No-one likes a smartarse, Joachim.

11:34 Books still haven’t left Droitwich. What are they doing up there? Reading them?

11:42 Going to buy a sandwich. I have half an hour for lunch today, then two hours of presentations. Why I can’t organise my day better, is quite beyond me.

12:14 Sandwich still not bought. Found student camped outside my office. Apparently the sign reading ‘engaged‘ was confusing – do you knock, or do you wait? The eternal dilemma. Must get sign changed to read ‘come in‘ or ‘get lost‘. Following discussion about freaks (no, seriously), some advice dispensed on auteur theory and intertextual narrative space. Really need sandwich now.

12:18 Have sandwich. FutureMrsTom will not be surprised to learn that sandwich contains ham and cheese. Everyone else will be stunned, I imagine.

12:20 Just took urgent phone call from important website client. Need to do some work later. That’s real work, not advice dispensing. Student due at 12:15 still not arrived, thus giving me opportunity to start sandwich.

12:28 Reading BBC news. Apparently some people cant see that the Google favicon is a g. Which, despite not being news, per se, is also not terribly relevant. How many of you knew that I’m smoking a cigarette in the favicon above, despite my having quit well over three months ago? See, not relevant.

12:38 Back to standard practice. Two students not shown up in a row. The boss is making ‘oh no’ noises, along with some swearing, in the background as I write. I might mention she’s using Windows. Now everyone is in the office. Audits are bloody, ethics are a pain, so I hear. They’re going to be in trouble if all my next student turns up, then they’ll know what pain is. The essay is about Henri-de Saint-Simon’s philosophy…

13:17 All done. Of the last three, only one student turned up, so I didn’t have the pleasure of discussing Saint-Simon or the Avant Garde. Which, I think, was a shame. Books are still in Droitwich, I’ve had some lunch, I need another cup of tea, and I have resisted making any snide comments about the usefulness of Windows in earshot of people in this office. Which has been difficult. Back to the occasional twitter for the afternoon, and developing a plan to make chilli for FutureMrsTom and FutureMrsKirk tomorrow evening in advance of going to the pub.

Discussion

2 comments for “My morning so far”

  1. i thought most universities already had a code of conduct – but you try implementing any “sanctions” – which to me should include and up to ritual scourging and other painful torments – and you get “senior management” commenting -oh you can’t do that – they might leave – PAH!!!! Darwin was right with the natural selection thingy……… just remember to fill in the tutorial sheets “student didn’t attend” sign and date and go and do something more useful

    Posted by fluffy_the_crow | January 20, 2009, 8:15 pm
  2. Buy them booze and sleep with them. Worked for me.

    Posted by Andy | January 30, 2009, 11:54 am

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