Teaching Honours

Yesterday I had my media objects lab, first session of the year. Caught the train after taking ms 7 y.o. to school, all good. Except everyone had to get off at Macleod – a long way out from the city – due to an ‘incident’ (which, sadly, is generally a euphemism for suicide by train). This means no trains. Bus companies are called, they need to find busses and drivers, and it was nearly an hour before I was heading towards Clifton Hill station. For a 10:30 class scheduled to finish at 13:20 I arrived just before midday.

Via Facebook I told everyone I was late, and why, and that the reading was available online. They should get it, start reading the first chapter, and after forty minutes or so stop for coffee. Once I realised how late I’d be I also sent through the suggestion they eat, as once I got there we’d work through without a break.

I walk into a seminar room deathly quiet. Everyone huddled over the text reading. Taking notes. All present. All stayed. All worked. We then had a pretty good conversation setting up the semester. Honours, it’s a treasure.

One thought on “Teaching Honours

  1. jeni thornley

    Hi, Adrian, I thought that your ” walk into a seminar room deathly quiet” was more because of the suicide, than that it was an honours class…or maybe both. In any case the epidemic of suicide is everywhere, and here in the Kimberley there are few euphemisms for the tragedy; life is stripped back here and in your face. I am in a Kimberley town (with a family member working in the local Aboriginal Health Centre). This is my seventh time in the area since 2010 and suicide is all around. I can’t put it any more bluntly than Nicolas Rothwell’s piece which I attach for you and your class . I know, I know – it’s not directly connected to any ‘media objects lab’, or new or old media. No, this is stark human tragedy and no media object is going to solve the huge social disaster that is suicide, poverty and disposession. The essay is ‘Living hard, dying young in the Kimberley’, by Nicolas Rothwell, The Australian. April 30, 2011.

    “THE funeral, brief and heart-rending, was held in the shade of a half-wrecked basketball court. The music was gospel-country, the service Catholic, modified to suit east Kimberley traditional beliefs…The recent suicide statistics for the region are terrifying; they gravely understate the social disaster’s true scale.”