8.45 am. Where are my keys? Where are my keys? I went through, in my mind, every ritual of placement and concealment in my safe-keeping of keys repertoire. Eventually, I found them in the pocket of my trousers, in the washing machine, having suffered a thorougher economy clean and spin. 9.10 am. A late arrival at the School; bag down, post collected, tea made, and back on track. Here we go again:
9.20 am. Admin catch up (as ever). I never catch up. Admin runs ahead of me like a figure in a nightmare. No matter how much I accelerate, it always seems to maintain the same distance away. The tree trimmer is in the School’s garden. His saw sounded like a very large wasp in extremis. 10.20 am. I launched the FaceBook Community page for next semester’s British Landscape module. (I’m on a recruitment drive.):
10.30 am. An MA Fine Art tutorial. When we write, we accept that some lines, paragraphs, whole pages even, may not appear in the final script. But we write them, dispassionately, nevertheless. However, when it comes to making images, we too often burden ourselves with the expectation that everyone one of them has to succeed, and berate ourselves when they often don’t. This is wholly unrealistic, and of form of legalism that we’ve imposed from within.
11.10 am. Vocational Practice was on the topic of criteria assessment: the pros and cons. I also gave the group an opportunity to formulate their own criteria, one by which they’d be happy to be assessed. It’s rather like being asked to plat the rope from which you’re going to hang:
1.40 pm. The first of a series of one-to-one pre-submission essay tutorials for the Abstraction module. There are always common, underlying problems that dog written work at this stage in its development. To the end of putting some of them to rout:
- One needs to attend to the essay’s structure from the outset. Separate out the problem into manageable parts, so that you aren’t dealing with all the essay all the time. Divide and rule!
- See each draft like a printer regards a stage proof: as a phase towards the completed ‘picture’.
- Very often, by the essay’s half-way point, your writing will have improved and the discussion will read more cogently. So, invest that betterment; rewrite the first two pages when you get to the end of the essay, and the introductory paragraph especially. See essay writing as a circular rather than as a linear endeavour.
- Don’t write anything that you don’t either believe is true or understand.
- Better to write drivel than nothing. Drivel can be improved. Nothing be cannot be improved. (Nothing is perfect.)
‘There’s a storm coming!’ Turner would have loved this:
I continued with tutorials until 5.15 pm. The wind is up. This is hurricane Barney; one of the USA’s cast offs. Storms invigorate.
7.30 pm. An evening translating and commuting slides to PowerPoint in readiness for Thursday’s Abstraction lecture. A number of the original images were too poor in quality by today’s HD standards, so they had to be re-sourced on the internet. This took longer than I’d anticipated.