May 27, 2015


8.30 am. Two days and twenty MA Vocational Practice teaching element projects later … The bulk of this semester’s assessment is behind me. I’ve been impressed by the conscientiousness that the students have shown in their preparation, delivery, and account of this project. It’s also been heartening to witness the enthusiasm that they brought to the group workshops and one-to-one tutorials. To a woman and man, each has received from the experience the same joy that they’d imparted to it, and in equal measure. Isn’t that always the way.

8.50 am. To the School. Who’d have thought that the Antichrist lives on Llanbadarn Road:


9.30 am. The first of today’s MA Portfolio assessments. 10.00 am. I returned a phone call to Ben Crowe at Crimson Guitars, where my custom RF stealth electric guitar is being modified with the addition of an active pickup, a completely new set of electrics, a few new frets, and a fresh lick of paint. I suspect that this is one of the most complex guitars ever conceived. 10.30 am. The second MA Portfolio assessment:


11.30 pm. The final assessment, at the Old College. The Portfolio students are all in transition. Each, now, has to mark out and follow a trajectory towards the first of two exhibitions. This will involve an abandonment of certain ideas, processes, techniques, and habits of thought which, while not without virtue,  may become an encumbrance before long. They must learn to travel light; to take with them only that which is necessary for the journey. And this is the way that they’ll proceed through their artistic careers: letting go of some things in order to pick up others.

2.30 pm. The undergraduate dissertation meeting, in which the first and second assessors disclose their commentaries upon the submissions and agree marks. 4.00 pm. The end of one cycle of supervision is followed by the start of another: my first tutorial with one of next year’s undergraduate dissertation tutees. The first meeting is singularly important; it establishes the tone, dynamic, and intensity of subsequent tutorials. We both now know what is expected of the other.

6.20 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. An evening of totting up marks, entering them onto mark sheets, and scanning and PDFing feedback forms — all to the shimmering ring of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music.


10.30 pm. ‘The Night Watch’. There’s no end to the PDFing forms.