May 19, 2015

8.30 am. A mental scurrying among emails and papers —  considering requests, deleting spam, acknowledging the persistent, ignoring the ignorable, locating the lost, and confronting the overlooked. 9.25 am. Dr Pierse and I turned our attention to my own third year painters at today’s assessment. It never crossed my mind to dress up for an assessment when I was a finalist (apart from donning body armour, perhaps). What sensible and socially well-adapted students we have.

Having comprehended the whole, ‘Now I know in part …’:






2.00 pm. The annual, seasonal adjustment of figures; (or, the ‘walkaround’.) In practice, all fine art staff together form a moderating posse and tour the show. This is in order ensure parity of marks across the full range of medial disciplines, chiefly. By the close of the day, all undergraduate work will have been tripled marked even before it’s further moderated by the external examiner:

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I cannot conceive of a fairer process of assessment. It mitigates any subjective and personal bias that there may be on the part of the tutor; permits the examiners to reconsider marks given earlier in the assessment cycle in the light of those given towards the end; and enables all examiners to adjust to a common calibration in order to determine the class of a student’s work and its position within that class. What makes this job less onerous, and more exacting than it might otherwise be, is the shared basis of values and judgement among the staff. They’re an excellent bunch.

6.30 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. An evening writing up feedback forms from this morning’s third year assessments:

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Some students achieve magnificently in spite of the odds. Personal ‘issues’ (sometimes, deep-seated problems), which would otherwise have brought most people to a standstill, have been confronted and worked through. Not in the sense of having been fully resolved; rather, they’ve pushed their creative endeavour forward in spite of, and sometimes because of, these problems. I take my hat off to them. 9.45 pm. Forms completed.

10.45 pm. ‘The night watch’. Research and exam admin catch up.