9.00 am. There was a backlog of postgraduate administration, marking, and reading to deal with before my day’s assignments could come into focus. However well one’s time is managed (a subject about which I’ll be speaking to the second year students at the close of the afternoon), the legitimate and pressing demands of others sometimes prevail, and eat into those periods of the day set aside for equally urgent matters and projects. ‘The best laid plans of mice and men go astray’, as they say. Establishing priorities is relatively straightforward; creating a hierarchy of priorities is much harder; and deciding between equal priorities is more often a moral issue — a choice between one’s own and another’s needs and best interests.
By 12.00 pm, I was back on track and pressing on with a short introductory text about circuit bending, ostensibly for Saturday’s university Open Day but with an application to a sound art practice-based module — currently under construction — too. After lunch, I probed several circuit boards in search of fierce, edgy, and noxious noises. The endeavour requires patience, steady hands, and a great deal of optimism:
4.30 pm. At the School, I set up the projector for my 5.10 pm lecture and helped out with some administrative chore related to postgraduate ‘dispersion’ statistics. I wouldn’t chaff at the task of assembling statistics if I thought that there’d be some tangible return in terms of an intelligible, informative, and useful application of the data. There rarely is. Bureaucracy is a hungry beast that must be fed, constantly, with numbers and pie charts, graphs and projections. The lecture appeared to go down well, and I’m sure they appreciated, if nothing else, my effort to finish the class 15 minutes before time. (A working example of ideal time management, of course.) At 5.45 pm, the desire to return home, rest, and eat overrides all academic considerations.
6.30 pm. Practice session 1.
7.00 pm. I completed and formatted the text for circuit bending project, added additional slides for tomorrow’s Art/Sound Workshop, and revised the project outline for the 11.00 MA Vocational Practice class. Delivering a class ill-prepared is still, for me, a fearful prospect:
9.40 pm. Practice session 2.