Sunday, 19 May 2013

Day 159: The power of the random tweet, ha ha...

Day 159 (14 May) Tuesday. The first of three long days at work. Today is quite busy. On the one hand, tonight the Treasurer presents the Budget, on the other, my Union is one of several organising a 'national day of action' as accompanies budget days when we need to make a point about funding...

The budget is delivered during my Tuesday night lecture to first-year politics students, perfect timing I should think. Imagine, if the internet can turn up an 1854 document for consideration in real lecture time, then how great is it that a politics class can watch the Treasurer in real time deliver the budget...perfect opportunity methinks. 

At the fridge, at 6.12am
Loris, at about 6.12am
But before that, it's breakfast and time to make lunch. At 6.12am, I am at the fridge which, typically has the usual collection of fridge magnets one has collected over the years. The photo in the middle is one I took some years ago in Japan at a place where 'shiba sakura' grows, a kind of play on the beauty of the pink cherry blossoms (sakura) but which is more like a kind of flowering grass (shiba). It is quite a spectacular sight. 

Also out feeding the birds, there is quite a picture of a couple of the loris sitting on one of the starker branches; it is reminiscent of a picture I painted at school many years ago. 

I head up to work and organise our branch's contribution to the national day of action, a stall outside the main eatery on campus, and aim to attract attention. Universities aren't exactly the hotbeds of political action these days, more a place to transact goods and I was to find out later this evening. 

I have another class to attend to and revise tonight's lecture so that there will be time to catch some of the Budget statement at 7.30pm. We also know that Chas's funeral will be next week, and I've been asked by the family to speak...a eulogy of sorts, but not quite. That takes a little of the background attention.

Lecture, at 6.12pm
In class at 6.00pm, I let the students know we shall use the opportunity to listen to the Budget speech. I give them some background--about why it is important, relate my experience of having been in the 'budget lock-up' many years ago, how it will be valuable to hear for themselves what the Treasurer has to say, before the journalists analyse it. It is the stuff of live classes!

At the appointed time I 'flick the switch' to the broadcast; I tell the students to listen for the 'rhetoric' in the Treasurer's speech--we've just studied the major parties' 'values and beliefs', let's watch that unfold here; I suggest they follow on Twitter to watch that interaction and 'live commentary'...I'm excited! I also tell them, as I must, that there is no compulsion to stay for the duration and that those with buses to catch etc can leave (although we are not going beyond the normal lecture time because I too have yet another class...). Slowly, and quickly, students leave rather than stay and listen. As I am occasionally wont to do, I casually tweet about it...

A random tweet
'Politics students given the opportunity to watch the budget being delivered, in class. Two remain...' 

It gets the attention of a few people, notably 612ABC Evenings presenter, Rebecca Levingston...after a few tweet exchanges, I'm on air with Beck just after 9.00pm chatting about it. There's a bit of a lament about the apathy of students towards politics, especially a politics class. I give them a few excuses, Rebecca quite rightly points out there are no excuses really, and she is right of course. I was disappointed they hadn't taken this opportunity...shame I couldn't test them on it...

Anyway, pleasant radio chat over, it's back to work, a few things to tidy up before leaving the campus. I'm home after Delroy's quiz 'The Challenge' begins, indeed, my usual Tuesday night Caboolture barista is signing off her midnight shift when I arrive...these are stupidly long days...

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