Friday, 8 January 2010


First week back, full of planning. We looked at timetabling next year into blocks - so that modules would be delivered intensely over short periods of time, followed by longer periods of reflection and a chance to focus on academic writing. This model would replicate more closely the theatre with students being given calls rather than lessons, but the fear is that the extended down time might alienate or demotivate students. We've put it on hold for a year until all three years of the degree are running - but I think the idea is very good.

The snows came on Tuesday and University along with many other institutions seemed to go into an excited siege resulting in us all working from home. Secretly most of us love the bad weather, and tackle it with the same degree of ingenious strategic planning that we'd use to see off a fascist invader. Cat litter strewed the pavements, snowmen appeared by the side of the roads, Tesco ran out of bread within 18 hours and Teddington Lock began to resemble the Bering sea, trapping small craft in a vice of ice. As if in sympathy with our plight, the English cricket team dug in and dug deep and with one wicket left, saw off the last seventeen balls to scrape a jubilant draw in South Africa. It couldn't have been more satisfying we'd bowled them all out for 45 and 54 by the second morning. As ever defeat of Dunkirk like proportions turned can be turned, with a straight back, into glorious triumph.

As a nation we're so much better at stopping others than we are at solving things for ourselves. I guess there's just deep mischievous joy in everything grinding to a halt.

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