Saturday, 23 March 2013

Day 106: Shadows

Day 106 (21 Mar) Some days, when I look back over the 6.12 pics for the day, I wonder at the serendipity of the exercise. At 6.12am I was taken by the shadows cast by my reading 6.12pm I was striding across the university 'quadrangle' and noticed the lights capture my shadow. I had actually forgotten the morning photo shadows...and, as the day unfolded, the shadowboxing in Canberra finally came to a head with the ALP leadership challenge called, and fizzle. 

Shadows, at 6.12am
I think today's 6.12am is one of my favourite pics in this series so far. Again, just a fluke, I happened to be clearing the table of breakfast dishes and the alarm went off just at this point. 

Today was also going to be 'one of those days' even before events unfolded in the way they did. I had a five hour meeting scheduled from 10.00 to 3.00 and then six hours of teaching from 3.00 to 9.00pm, the latter being mostly new classes since a colleague had to return to Japan. 

The meeting involves colleagues from Brisbane and is designed to be a planning and strategy meeting for some forthcoming matters. It would be enough for one day, but I'm also conscious that I must also be preparing for six hours of Japanese classes across first and second year levels. Just a typical day really...

Except that, during the meeting, it became apparent that the leadership 'spill' was to be called (you see, for work reasons, I do keep the twitter feed handy to check during breaks). Simon Crean made the call... the meeting finished, I raced off to class where the students were waiting. The Prime Minister announced that Caucus would cast a leadership ballot at 4.30 Canberra time, which was 3.30pm our time...and in the middle of my class. Hmm. It also took the shine of the Prime Minister's apology to those who had been forcibly the parents and the babies, now adult children. In politics, it's all about disappointing.

Shadows, still, at 6.12pm
Most of the students know I also teach and comment on politics so they were pretty understanding (sort of, mostly) when I suggested they do their hiragana worksheet around 3.30... Turned out to be unnecessary, Kevin Rudd didn't stand as a candidate, nor did anyone else, so the 'spill' didn't eventuate. 

It was, for psephologist-types' a monumental event...something to think about. As I noted across at the other blog last week, there was something about Mr Rudd's demeanour at the book launch last week that suggested to me a man who still wants that job but with a still raw wound still showing, one that might indeed ultimately inhibit another go. Is that what happened?

In a big day of teaching and a maelstrom of political events, my mind is racing at 100 miles an hour (apologies for the quaint pre-metric terminology). So much had happened, yet at 6.12pm, there was still much to do. Walking across the university grounds at that time I just sensed my shadow...and wondered about the place of the 'shadow' in politics: there are the famous shadow puppets of Indonesia, in Japan we refer to the 'shadow shogun', the politician pulling strings behind the scene. This shadow however, still had three hours teaching and further work to do after that. I eventually got home, after 15 hours on campus and a 22 hour day from rising at 4.30am to sleeping finally about 2.00am. 

Sometimes, no wonder, I just feel like a shadow of myself. 

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