Friday, 14 June 2013

Day 187: The Falling Leaves...

Day 187 (11 Jun) Tuesday. Exams start today, not a favourite time for many but one of those elements of student life. It means marking for us though, much marking...

Before the first exam, I have a meeting so I need to be up early. It is still dark at 6.12am and I've just noticed that the bonsai that has featured so regularly at this time is losing its leaves...not that there is anything wrong with that. It is supposed to do just seems to have happened rather suddenly. I have to remember to keep watering it though, it still lives although it is hibernating. It's OK, I managed to make this work last year...fingers crossed. 'Falling Leaves' is one of the songs Chas and Jill play on their CD, which I've been playing a bit lately on the drive home. 

Falling leaves, at 6.12am
The meeting is quite an important one, it concerns workplace health and safety which seems like one meeting too many but the increasing levels of stress and work overload in universities these days is in fact causing a lot of problems. It is troubling to see so many increasingly distressed staff, in an environment that should be setting the example of the very best society can be. I keep trying though. 

Cultures of War, at 6.12pm
First year politics and second year Japanese today. I'd like there to be a way to assess students without the stresses of assessment...there must be other ways. Nonetheless, it is what we do for now. The Japanese classes culminate in a workshop at the end of semester where students do the presentations they've been working on during the semester. The first years (tomorrow) devise their own skits using language they are learning; the second years (today) step up a bit and research a topic that interests them and make a presentation to the best of their ability. There is a written component as well which means staying back for a while, until about 7.30. At 6.12pm I was supervising the remainder of the exam and reviewing the readings for my courses next semester. The text is by one of my favourite authors, John Dower and it is a comparison of Pearl Harbour and 9/11...I'm using it for two courses...first time I've done that, should be interesting. 

A day of meetings and exams means that the rest of the day gets away from you. There's some more #ruddmentum...Julia Gillard has made an interesting speech to women about gender in politics and it is getting some interesting traction. Politics is rarely boring around here. 

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