8.30 am. I returned to my teaching timetable, filling in available slots for the next few weeks. 9.45 am. The six-monthly visit to the dentists. I was commended on my disciplined tooth-brushing technique. Nevertheless, calculus (neither the differential nor integral type) is almost inevitable, and has to be removed manually with fierce and intricate tools by the hygienist. But that can wait. Back at the School, I completed my timetable, emailed appointments, and issued updates on lists and schedules published over the last week. Time invested in efficient administration is time gained for research and teaching — an enabling chore.

11.40 pm. A trip to the IBERS building (with its small cafe) on campus to attend a mandatory NSS discussion meeting:


I’ve never met anyone who trusts either the statistical significance of the responses, or the framework of questions, or the percipients’ ability to make fully considered and informed responses to it. Every university in the UK is locked into this popularity contest; and no one can afford to opt out.

2.15 pm. I took a late lunch at home before adding a section to tomorrow’s Art/Sound lecture. I’d made a pact with myself that each lecture would be only finalised on the day before its delivery. In this way, each lecture can respond to fresh ideas arising from within its predecessors.

6.00 pm. Practice session 1.  In the evening session, I wrote text to accompany images to be posted to the School’s website, set my mind to consider the second and third year painting tutorials tomorrow, responded to an academic ‘head-hunter’, and commenced processing sound files for Matt. 20.23 — which is the longest verse of the set. It’ll take three days to complete, I wager.

An earlier night is in order. Tomorrow will be a demanding day. My current bedtime reading is Charles Dickens’s Bleak House (1852).


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