September 17, 2015

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think (Socrates 470-399 BCE)

8.00 am. It’s encouraging to see the School’s tweets frequently retweeted and favourited. Who gets to see them, I wonder? In small ways, incrementally, we make our presence known to others. On to School, 8.45, a pair of speakers, in my hands. (Life sounds like a Velvet Underground song, sometimes.) . 9.00 am. A brief ‘recky’ of one student’s sound-projection requirements, and of the School’s resources to respond to such. 9.40 pm. On to the International Politics Department and a two-hour briefing on the state of the nation (‘state’, as in: How did we manage to get ourselves into this ‘state’?) and Aberystwyth University’s aspirations for future NSS success. We waited patiently for the meeting to commence:

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Some ruminations, on my part:

  • Not all things are doable. All things are not doable.
  • If everything is prioritised, then nothing is a priority.
  • Optimism should be based on reasonable expectations which are, in turn, based upon past achievements. Any other foundation is mere wishful thinking and hubris.
  • What does ‘effective feedback’ effect? Conceivably, and ideally, to inculcate a more realistic awareness of aptitude, a greater determination to exceed one’s limitations, and the confidence so to do (on the part of both student and teacher).
  • Our notion of ‘the quality of student experience’, as it’s presently understood, concentrates far too much on the external paraphernalia of high education. The most important and lasting experience that a student may acquire takes place inwardly. It’s affects an enlargement of the individual’s heart, intellect, spirit, and capacity to feel. The quality of that experience is determined by the student, and by no one and nothing else.
  • We need to ensure that the student is prepared for a world, post education, that does not bend over backwards to make them happy.
  • J F Kennedy said: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’. Qualitative experience should instil in the student a recognition of civic responsibility. In its absence, we’re encouraging entirely self-centred and counter-altruistic aspirations.
  • A university can only achieve betterment when the whole community (staff and students) follow an agreed vision towards a common goal.
  • A university should aim to be not only as qualitatively good as the best but also as characteristically distinct from the rest.

2.00 pm. Following an anniversary, celebratory lunch, I assumed the role of temporary sound technician and helped install a stereo system to accompany an MA student’s video work:

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An exhibition grows, frame by frame:

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7.30 pm. Next week’s open studio event at the National Library of Wales beckons. Publicity, co-ordination, transportation, and the logistics of surviving a 24-hours work schedule. The nights are drawing in:

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Having written a project announcement for the newspapers and social media, I ventured to construct a YouTube channel, which has been the missing piece in my armoury of social media. I launched the first video  — a collaborative image/sound investigation entitled Concert: To Do Something in Cooperation with Another, with Maria Hayes, undertaken in 2010.

 

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