Tag Archives: Pieces

Small Favourites (3)

  • when a student blogs a learning moment, of any sort
  • finding a tail feather from a yellow tailed black cockatoo on the way to work
  • seeing a platypus in the river near home
  • the second essay by Wolfgang Ernst in “Digital Memory and the Archive”

The Wall

I should be editing a book chapter which is notoriously late. A day of meetings, administration, stress about a new subject that begins in 10 days which I’m now coordinating, and which I’ve decided to redo the curriculum. Completely. No reading list yet. New blog CMS where I’m to set up 140 blogs. Speculative pedagogy that I worry staff, let alone students, will feign an embrace while all the time wishing wondering why it can’t be like it used to be. Having to get home early so Ms. Vogmae could finish an art project to find ms “now I’m 7″ nearly asleep on the couch worn out from a sleep over and trip to the zoo. She needed my computer because, because, because, that was how we could watch Nanny McPhee on DVD. So there went the edit window. More teaching related activities. This evening the house crowded by craft group and am ensconced in the study and the interrupting of laughter, talk, and “tea?” means not writing. Then ms 7 wakes up and I am delegated as responsible parent. The anxiety of having to finish, the laxity of letting writing get out of hand and more pertinently not having the source material near or ready to hand so that the gaps, those gaps that trucks lumber through, stare back at me more resolutely, rudely, than any blank page white screen blinking cursor ever manages to do.

Labour Day

IMG_1544.jpg

Things I learnt today.

That I don’t write nearly as many things as I could, am capable of, or should. That one of the reasons this happens is I figure it out and don’t particularly see the point of communicating it since what I do tend to write about is the end of the process, not the process itself. (As a consequence I get defensive and also bored when I see others being celebrated for doing what I irascibly think of as joining the dots, since it strikes me as bleeding fucking obvious, though apparently not to others.) Actually, I already knew this, but what I learnt today is that it is in my teaching, at both undergraduate, honours, and PhD levels, that an awful lot of my thinking out, through and processing happens. That if I wrote in a way that followed the ideas and connections I make with students (for for example a lecture is often a thinking out loud, in situ, from an idea as a prompt in what is an essayist form) then this would be useful for others, and productive for me.

My track record on translating that into action is very very poor.

That I had set aside time to go riding (that is cycling as in serious effort, so not a soft pedal along some bike path but I had envisaged 5+ hours), but with the temperature soaring dialled that back. Instead I got up, thought about the mountain of work I had, and found a reason not to ride. This has put me into a very poor mood. Completely of my own doing. It is a mix of none endorphins and so the mood swing that happens there, and also the guilt of not putting in the hours. This cult guilt and loathing then easily infects the rest of my day. Net result? Saving time by not riding reduces my productivity for the rest of the day, and feel worse to boot. This is unhealthy, isn’t it?

An Administrative Email I Had to Send

In my position as honours program director I have been trying to pay, well not exactly pay, our external examiners by way of a gift voucher. It is fair to say it has dragged on a bit:

yes, another bloody form email. Adrian Miles, aka Ebenezer Scrooge. There’s an explanation below, but the financial wheels of the credit system have ground to a halt and in spite of our best intentions your thank you gift vouchers from amazon.com are not going to be distributed to the new year. Now, if you’re from the northern hemisphere please realise we have Christmas + summer holiday + plus end of the year (i.e. final semester) so Christmas for us is not a comma. It is a full stop, followed by an ellipsis, encased in brackets. So new year literally means anytime from the end of the first week of January (unlikely) to the somewhere near the end of January (more likely).

I apologise for this, it stuffs up you, and my 2013 budget, but there you go.

The fine print.
So it all has to paid on a corporate credit card. Being the end of the year and all the budgets needing to be spent most people were spending, so it was hard to find ‘space’ on a corporate card to pay for the vouchers. On Monday all was good, we bought them all, I ponied up and went off to Canberra for a conference. Sweet. By the time I’d got there amazon had let me know the deal was off. Card declined. I figured we must have maxed the boss’s card, so arranged to fix it all up Friday when I was back. Turns out wasn’t maxed but there was a disputed purchase on the card, (you know, the sort that might just mean something dodgy happened) and the bank cancelled the entire card, and reissued a shiny one. Except it hasn’t arrived, so we’re in limbo.

Sure there’s a lesson in there, feel free to use :-)

So ended by work year.