Sunday, 17 March 2013

Day 98: Late night classes and forty winks

Day 98 (13 Mar) It's Wednesday, a long day of classes and often meetings and seminars thrown in for good measure. It is also the day before I have to travel to Melbourne on union business, always the 5.00am flight. The challenge is therefore...will sleep happen again before Thursday night in a foreign city? (You'll have to stick around to the end to find out...)

Breakfast, at 6.12am
Brisbane is learning to readjust to waking to fewer rain showers, we've just about tipped over  that line where you'll probably be safe if you don't take your brolly with you. Maybe. So with that in mind, there was some reading and thinking to do over breakfast at 6.12am. 

I do follow the morning news closely especially if it is something I might need to introduce in class. Today is mostly the class 'About Japan' so my ears are attuned to anything in that general direction. It is also the day that the Vice Chancellor will make one of his occasional all-staff addresses so I also need to be up-to-date on news in the sector and especially where my university and my colleagues are placed in relation to that. Breakfast done and its up the highway...

The welcoming committee greets the workers as we approach our offices on campus. Actually, I suspect they're just observing the human idiot walking past getting wet in the rain because she lost the bet about not needing the brolly. In fact, although only 80km apart, the differences in the weather between Brisbane and the SunCoast can be quite contrasting.  I know it seems twee, but it still mildly amazes me that I work on a campus with wild kangaroos. They just ask for their photo to be taken. 
The welcoming committee
Once at the office, there are still some admin tasks to complete so that we can meet the graduation deadline. There's a lot of double-handling in admin that belies commonsense. Six forms where one could suffice, times seven see my issue.

The VC's forum was well attended, perhaps informative and putting us in the picture about USC in the sector. The floor was shared this time with the Deputy Vice Chancellor. I still believe the sector would thrive without the overlays and multiple layers of bureaucratic accountability demanded of all of us. But it's no longer the era in which we live. 

Lectures, at 6.12pm
By the time 6.12pm rolled around, we were just about to head into the tutorial for the Japan course, having just completed the lecture which looked at the second anniversary events of the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster and the key socio-political institutions in 'modern' Japan. As I have lamented to students, so much has to be packed into the very minimum time with courses these another time, this one course was perhaps three or four different courses with the time allowed to delve into issues in some depth. The challenge now is to condense key material into understandable bites. I think I'm forever pleased I did my undergraduate studies when I did. So fortunate to observe dinosaurs in real life before they were replaced by cyber-realities.

Teaching done, a quick meal with a colleague, by mutual agreement otherwise neither of us would find time to eat and then back to the office to finalise a few things before I fly out to Melbourne at 5.00am. I managed to leave the office around 11.00, got home about 12.45 with a decision to make about to sleep or not to sleep, given I have to be out the door at 3.30...

Forty winks instead and day 99 began before day 98 barely bedded down. 

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