Thursday, May 30, 2013


That vague sense of dissatisfaction (as opposed to the normal sense of acute distaste) is something all teachers know well.  A disgruntled feeling that one could be doing something more productive elsewhere – like sleeping – makes every little action an effort.  It will wear off of course, but while it niggles away at the back of your mind it makes each moment sitting in the staff room like some form of indistinct torture.

Today is a full day by election as there is a departmental meeting which I am duty bound to attend “for shame’s sake” so that the rest of the department do not rise up in choler and smite me (hip and thigh) [possibly with the jaw bone of an ass] to express their irritation with my cavalier attitude towards education!         

Allegedly there is a (now traditional) meeting about pay in the offing which, no doubt, will be a little nearer the end of term so that the information about how much is going to be taken from the wages of hard working teachers to keep bloodsucking bloody bankers in this country afloat!

Meanwhile, I am still working on how to pay for the camera that I have decided will make a suitable retirement (again) present (again) for me (again) as the money has to be sent by bankers’ order and therefore I have to go to a bank physically and in person!  As the places do not accord with anyone’s working hours and availability there is a necessity to take time off school to get to the bank.  I am still working on it.  Working on it!  Roll on the month after next when such considerations will be irrelevant!

I am now sitting in front of yet another class, but this time they are studying for the examinations rather than sitting them – the end result is the same: I take out my computer and preserve my sanity by typing something.  Anything.  Next lesson is going to be similar when my ostensible free has been taken by invigilation, so more computer time, but this time I will use the on-line OU resources to further my studies.

On the plus side I have been given permission to skip a departmental meeting so I will be back home for a late lunch rather than having to stay over our lunchtime and go home late in the afternoon.  This is a definite result.  But I must remember to phone home and let the information be taken on board as I am expected some time after four and not two hours earlier.

It is getting nearer and nearer to the magic date when I can start doing a daily countdown to the end of my time in the School on the Hill.  There are times when I feel a sense of regret that I am going to be finishing here, but all I have to do is remind myself about the number of meetings that I have not gone to (and indeed the length of those meetings) to thank my lucky stars that I am soon to be out of the continuous frustration that is modern teaching!

As a result of fairly confused messages emanating from our OU tutor the Workshop scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled for Sunday – you see what I mean when I say confused!  This is probably a good thing because I have arranged to meet Suzanne on Saturday and coming straight from a discussion of Greek vases is not the idea frame of mind to enjoy yourself!

This Sunday will have to be the day when I break the back of the information that I need to start on my first assignment for this course.  As usual everyone on the Forums is getting worked up about the necessity or otherwise of in-text referencing and the way the bibliography should be set out.  I am more concerned about what to call the little decorate details on what we have to describe rather than the arid referencing which seems to be the most important aspect of some people’s lives.  Which probably explains why my last tutor made gentle suggestions about tightening up my academic housekeeping!

I don’t know whether it is a good or bad thing that our present tutor is not only an art history expert, but also she is also the chair of the MA in Art History in the OU.  I think.  I feel this is a person who would appreciate the use of the word “conceit” in a way in which my last tutor did not!  And that has its own built in tensions when submitting a piece of written work!

Roll on the weekend.

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