8.45 am. The first hour was set aside for all comers. It gave me occasion to catch up with a number of students who had concerns about particular modules. In between tutorials, I dispatched mail, removed excess furniture from my room, and made ready the technology for the MA Vocational Practice class at 11.10 am. 10.30 am. Module and pastoral admin of a very general nature. It’s the little, buggy things that steal the time.
11.10 am. Today’s Vocational Practice class was on the nature, and good practice, of lecturing. (I should pay attention.) We had a very searching discussion. I received responses to questions that had not occurred to me. I very much appreciated the students’ commitment and candour. At the end, Tom invited us to share in his birthday celebrations, with several boxes of Christmas pies-cum-early. Very much appreciated:
2.00 pm. A twin-tutorial for my MA Fine Art tutees. There is a very different dynamic than experienced in the one to one conversation; the topics range more widely … but not so far from the mark.
3.00 pm. Some adminy things before a visit to the life room to look in on a student to whom I teach painting. Outside the room, Mr Jones (our dedicated porter) was taking his cleaning duties to an entirely new level — scraping away decades of soiled varnish to reveal the true lustre of the parquet flooring:
The life studies group were engaged with a Freudian composition comprising a human model and a young whippet. He found a warm welcome:
From 3.00 pm to the end of the afternoon, I interviewed my remaining personal tutees. Some students have to bear a great deal on top of their commitment to studies. Often, they have, of necessity, to live a virtual double life: as students and gainful employees. As a student their age, I had it better. Such things should not be.
6.30 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. A few email volleys before a rather tedious transfer of PowerPoint slides from a previous module into the template of the new Abstraction module. A new home breathed new life into the illustrations and — let’s hope — the lecture too. A case of old wine in new wine skins (to invert the biblical metaphor).