November 9, 2016

Change and decay in all around I see (Henry Francis Lyte (1793–1847)).

Is putting the interests of your own country before those of other countries any different from putting your personal interests before those of other people?:

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8.00 am: Off to School to set up my demonstration materials for the 11.10 am BA fine art workshop on priming board:

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8.30 pm: Forward, to the Old College for a partial morning of MA Fine Art tutorials. Encouraging. Not because solutions to problems are being acted upon, necessarily, but, rather, because problems are being defined more clearly. There’re times when that’s the best a student can hope for.

Within the side wall of Aberystwyth’s Unitarian Chapel, on the corner of New Street and Castle Street, is the still visible entrance to the coach house (the building’s previous incarnation), now bricked up and painted over. It’s, variously, a scar, a residue, an undoing, and a still-present absence:

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In 1906, a classical façade was stuck on, what is now, the front of the building. It’s unconvincing, anomalous, and vaguely pretentious in the most endearing manner:

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11.10 am: Advanced priming for second year students.  There were moral lessons to be drawn from this skill: We should attend, with the best of our abilities, even to those things that’ll not, in the end, be outwardly visible. If the foundations are not sound, the building will likely crumble. We should consider our workspace, tools, and materials with the assiduity and conscientious care of a master chef.

After lunch (spent pouring over the news, as the world comes to terms with the unthinkable), I began an afternoon of Personal Tutorials for first year students. For the most part, they’ve settled-in well. The greatest difficulty some face is how to manage non-timetabled periods in the week. Perhaps third year students should advise them. Some of my third-year tutees have grown in confidence enormously. They’ve found themselves, their strengths, and a determination to go forward. This was heartening.

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: I reviewed and revised the draft for the CD cover design and booklet. Nearly there.

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • ‘I don’t know how to know’, remarked one of our MA students. But they know they don’t know how to know. And that’s more than half the battle.
  • Don’t shrink to the size of your own or other people’s expectations.
  • Sometimes, you can achieve more in one day than in a week. Likewise, you can undo a week’s work (like the good reputation of a lifetime) in a moment. So be careful how you tread.
  • Nothing grows where no seed has been sown.
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‘All that glitters …’, Trump Tower, New York (October 14, 2001)
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