May 20, 2015

8.00 am. A flurry of email admin related to today’s postgraduate assessment before travelling to the School in order to execute my own missives. 9.00 am. The first in a long day of MA exhibition examinations.

On top of my filing cabinet, I have a fragment (relic) of my old art school that had been rescued from the ruins by the photographer Dr Pete Davis, who taught there. It’s one of the enamelled tiles that covered the lower half of the interior walls throughout. The effect summoned an association with a large, Victorian Gents’ toilet:

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I engaged a more or less unbroken continuity of assessments, either in pairs or as a posse, until 4.00 pm, with lunch taken on the run. There have been moments in the day when I’ve been deeply impressed (moved) by the commitment and resolve, clarity of thought, and shear hard work evident in the students’ work, and by their advocacy of such.

By the close of the afternoon, my critical functions had been reduced to mush. No more! No more!

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4.30 pm. Time to complete a number of feedback reports in readiness for the external examiner’s viva voce meetings tomorrow. 5.20 pm. Homeward:

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6.30 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. Further assessment reports to write, provisional feedback forms to dispose, and a column of unread emails to fell. I have a theory that more emails drop into your mailbox when you’re away from the desk than when you’re present. Perhaps the phenomenon is a mode of experimenter effect. In other words, I’m actively restraining the number of incoming messages simply by staring at the computer monitor. 8.00 pm. Checked in with our comrade in hospital.

While sifting through albums for the period of my undergraduate degree, I came across a photograph of the only public artwork I’ve ever contributed to. In 1978, together with two of my Foundation Studies colleagues, we executed a Disney inspired mural for a local ‘mental’ hospital for children:

1977 (a1)

Then there was the end of year Foundation Studies picnic. (I was behind the camera.) Where are they now?:

1981-07-(a1)

And, my final day in Higher Education in 1981. Looking for all the world like a desert island castaway. I’m wearing one of my customary un-ironed shirts, about which a female friend once asked: ‘Do you sleep in them, John?’:

1981-07-(a2)

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