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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OU in Crisis



Put seven people together for an Internet task which necessitates discussion and two decisions and spread these people out over Europe and what do you have?  In International Situation within minutes of the discussion forum being created.

I like to think that I have had some input in this co-operational disaster merely by saying that I had some proficiency in poetry analysis.  This introduced a complicating factor which has seen successively vituperative Internet posts so to such an extent that an arbitrator has had to be called in!  In this case our tutor.

I have to keep pinching myself to remind myself that what is happening is around the first tutor assignment in a first level OU course!  I cannot remember when I have laughed so much over a few electronic communications!

Seriously, I am thoroughly enjoying the course at the moment, in spite of the fact that some pieces of information are irritatingly difficult to find.  At the moment, for example, I am still trying to find the original 1908 poem which was the basis for the 1920 poem which became the lyrical basis for the 1921 “hymn” which is known as “I vow to thee my country” but which in its 1908 version was known as “Urbs Dei” or “The Two Fatherlands” – I know this poem exists but I have been totally unable to get my hands on a copy, or even find out if it exists in manuscript or published form.  Many people make reference to it, usually in the exact wording that Wikipedia uses!  I simply wonder how many of the authoritative people making reference to it have actually seen the words.  Ah, research was ever thus!

Toni is still not well but the antibiotics seem to be having some effect.  Another week of so of pills should seem him back to normal.

And tomorrow is normal in another sense for me.  Monday sees the start of a week of real teaching which will go on until the end of term.  I am beginning to wonder just what I have let myself in for with this unnatural extension of my career with yet another stint of teaching.  But it does pay.  I suppose.

It will be interesting to see how I feel at the end of the week – though I can always compensate myself with the thought that there is a time limited aspect to this jaunt into education!  December the 21st and I am out of there!  For good! 

Meanwhile the soap opera of OU students at play will keep me entertained tomorrow when I start work on the music or continue with the poem and try and deflect the flak that bruised egos in the educational field start shooting when they feel intellectually threatened.  Especially when they are not!

And I have now read (via the Kindle) all three volumes in “The Hunger Games” series.  Thoroughly enjoyed them, though the third volume was the weakest in my view.  The first two are well worth reading as they take various ideas and make something new of them.  I like the anti-Utopian concept and the take on government is cynical enough to satisfy even the most jaundiced viewer of politics.  Though there is a happy ending of sorts, the whole thrust of the storyline is that nothing really changes and that power corrupts and the human species is basically unsound and prone to the most venial sins.  Optimism is in fact too optimistic a view to take!  Chimes in with the general feeling in this time of crisis!

I do like my Kindle Fire, which is more than I can say for my new wireless keyboard where the cursor goes missing for no reason and I have yet to work out how to get it back with any degree of consistency.  Teething problems.  I hope.

Now to bed to prepare for yet another day of work!
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