Sunday, 26 May 2013

Day 167: The thinking time

Day 167 (22 May) Wednesday. The middle of the week and day three of four days of teaching. It is week 12 so not many hours of teaching to go for this semester. Then it's back to revising overdue course outlines, finishing up articles for publication, review colleagues' drafts, prepare conference papers (one for September has been accepted).

Breakfast, lunch & dinner,
in the making, at 6.12am
Today is the 'lesser long day' of the three at Sippy Downs. Lecture at 10am and the last one runs until 7pm. I generally take a day's worth of food to campus so at 6.12am I'm eating breakfast and preparing lunch at the same time. Today we also have another address by our Vice Chancellor which most staff are expected to attend. 

Long day, we'll need these,
at 6.12am
Perhaps there was just too much stoicism yesterday and today just seems a little bit harder. It's a long drive up the Coast today, a long drive. Good thing I have no passengers.

On the way up, I've had a rethink about the order of the lecture and I hope to get on campus with time to make the adjustments. That is one advantage of the long drive to work...the thinking time. Friends and acquaintances ask why I do this, and while there are several reasons, I've learnt to value and use the time to think or listen to radio current affairs (it is quite amazing how often I will refer to 'something I heard on the radio on the way up today' in my lectures). There have been times when I've had to make adjustments on the run as a result of something I heard, or thought about. And that's just not an opportunity I'd have if I caught a bus to work...

Tutes, at 6.12pm
The lecture happens, I think it benefited from a re-ordering. I wanted to show a couple of vid clips to students which, while confronting, show another side to the whaling debate which comes about when people feeling forced into a corner and come out fighting in a hyper-nationalistic way. These are clips in Japanese and so don't get a run very much in the Australian media. I don't like some of these responses any more than I like some of the more extreme anti-whaling groups but whaling has become a foreign policy issue imbued with emotion...I'm not sure we'll solve it satisfactorily now. Nonetheless, I'm drafting a manuscript at the moment, and plan to take some time off next year to write it. (It will probably start in blog form.)

Later in the evening, I turn to Australia-Japan relations in the other course...we get back to whaling, quite coincidentally. At 6.12pm, we've moved into the tutorial and students are doing their presentations. 

The end of the teaching day at 7pm but a few things to do before the return Bruce trip...eventually we head off and head home, with some more thinking time.

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