Saturday, 23 March 2013

Day 105: Showbags and classes...a typical Wednesday mix.

Day 105 (20 Mar) Wednesday, which will finish a bit late. There's always enough admin to do to justify getting on campus early, even though classes won't be finished until after 7pm. Then, there'll be more work to do after that. 

A lecturer's lecturing day tends to be dominated by the so-called LMS--the Learning Management System, known post-ironically at our place as 'Blackboard' (see, geeks know humour too). We all use it differently, but essentially it means that we, the teachers, can post lots of information relevant to the courses onto this system and the students can access it. It adds to our workload and typically it is 'down', or being upgraded or something is happening to hinder access. Sometimes, when you think things are available they're not, and things you don't want made available do appear. #Backintheday as a student, you left the lecture and hoped you had most of the notes you needed, the thought of expecting them from the lecturer was...just not considered. I still tend towards 'old school'. 

Breakfast, and work, at 6.12am
Anyway, the lecturing days always involve reviewing of the media. In the 'About Japan' course, besides looking at 'news from Japan', I also just like to compare what is on a typical Japanese website, with an Australian news website and, when the opportunity arises, compare Japanese and Australian reporting on the same issues. 

And so it was a 6.12am that I was looking over news of the day in case there was anything of interest. Bagels today, just for a change. 

Wednesday at work is also seminar and meeting day, when we squeeze in meetings and go off to hear colleagues present their work on their current research. Today, two colleagues presented their work on showbags, a cultural history and geography. Yep, we were all nostalgic for the showbags of our childhoods, though which show was the best was contentious. Queenslanders always vote for the Ekka, Sydneysiders, the Easter Show (as ours was known). I'm mostly a Queenslander except for two or three things which are part of my birthright: Manly, Freshwater Beach and the Royal Easter Show. Excellent seminar...but back to work. 
In the classroom, at 6.12pm

The white noise we are hearing through the media is the ongoing speculation about a challenge to the Prime Minister's position. Meanwhile, I'm back reviewing further notes for tonight's class. Our tutorial session tonight gives the students the opportunity to present their research topics...we are also talking about the emergence of Japanese Imperialism...I plan to read some selections from a book written in 1936 by a Japanese Lt Commander on 'why we must fight Britain'. The language of the era is always eye-opening. 

This at 6.12pm, the lecture was just complete and following a short break we were about to start the tute. The 6.12pm photo is my view from the front desk, just about to join the students at the tables to discuss their topics. 

I return to my office, deal with emails, a few phone calls, prepare for tomorrow's classes. I leave the office around 9.30 pm. It's another long day's night. 

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