September 29, 2015


9.00 am. I took into School my Electro Harmonix Flanger Hoax — a modulation pedal comprising two independent phaser sections and associated delay lines. I’m feeding the effector back into itself. In so doing, the device modulates its own modulation. (Electronic navel staring.) I’m tinkering with it with a view to some kind of informal demonstration for the coming Open Days. 9.30 pm. A pastoral tutorial which, in part, enabled me to get a better sense of how yesterday’s Abstraction lecture had been received, and to determine how tutelage in essay writing should be introduced. 10.00 am. On with postgraduate admin and preparations for the beginning of the MA Vocational Practice module. We begin, as always, by examining the elements of higher education teaching. By the end of this module, these students will have conducted one-to-one tutorials, group workshops, and given a mini lecture. One must take responsibility for nurturing the next generation of academic teachers:


2.00 pm. A pastoral, group tutorial with my first year ‘year tutees’. They appear to be a confident bunch. When I first entered higher education, I thought I’d only got in by the skin of my teeth and that I would be the least able of the cohort. It turned out, that everyone in that cohort suffered from the same insecurity.

2.45 pm. On with MA space allocations. Getting there. 4.00 pm. A second year pastoral tutorial. Just a check up, but heartening to hear of success coming to someone who’s still in the midst of their undergraduate studies.

6.30 pm. Practise session 1, followed by a little TV: a dramatisation of the Enflield poltergeist  phenomenon. I’d met Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair, the investigators, at conferences when I was a member of the Society for Psychical Research. Two more level headed and earthed human beings you could not wish to meet. I’ve never been fully persuaded of the account’s veracity. But I’m equally unsure as to what would constitute verifiable evidence. However, I’m convince that both investigators believed it; and that they were men of integrity.

7.30 pm. I pressed on with postgraduate admin:


This is always the most administratively heavy week in the academic calendar. Exam weeks do not compare. (Although I’m sure Helen and Suzie would beg to differ … and rightly so.) And there’s an internal examination of the MA show and the External Examiner’s three-day visit to come this week. Next week, my time and energies will be focussed on the delivery of teaching (which has had to proceed in parallel, and sometimes in tandem, thus far).

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