I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Report: first week of semester

* honours class is small and lovely. I think it'll be great to spend time reading Chaucer and other texts with them.

* Middle English reading group began yesterday, too. An hour a fortnight reading Pearl with eight or nine companions.

* still acting head of program and acting head of graduate studies, though no longer acting head of school, as my colleagues gradually return from research and holiday leave. Emails and meetings aplenty.

* have finished the document making the "case" for a major in literary studies for the review of the new Arts curriculum, but barely mastering disbelief about having to do this, and embarrassed about asking office staff for statistics in the first week of semester.

* still in recovery at discovering the name for the old BA. It's being replaced by the "New Generation BA", and will be known as a "heritage degree". Shudder.

* was planning a research day at home today, but Academic Board will be faced with a student protest about the job cuts in Arts, and also a staff protest about the plan to gut the research library, move the books to an outer suburb (literally), and use the space for a student "hub", so feel I must go in and support the students and my colleagues.

* a week without my laptop, now. It's taken this long for it to get to the off-campus computer people contracted to make the repairs.

* this morning, I counted six people upstairs and downstairs and outside (and soon, in my lady's chamber) as our building proceeds (two builders; two plasterers; two underpinners). There are ladders and scaffolds in the kitchen and outside the bathroom door.

*last night swept up much of the cornice from the ceiling of our bedroom which had tumbled down over the doorway, giving way under pressure from the building upstairs and the new underpinning under the walls. It's been cracked and unstable for the fourteen years I've lived here, but it's really starting to give way now...

*last night I came out here, where I am writing now, to work on Joel's computer in Paul's study in the back garden and heard the best sound: the little cree-cree-cree of the Southern Brown Tree Frog (litoria ewingi) in the violets by the tap on the back wall of the house. Last year Joel called him Herbert (von Karajan), and we mourned his absence (taken by cats, I fear, rather than migratory habit). Whoever he is, I see no reason to change his name this year. Check out this link to see his picture and scroll down to hear his call.

Update: 2.30 p.m. I went to the student meeting - small but passionate and vocal. I absented myself while they marched around to the Council Chambers and blockaded the entrance, and turned up later only to be turned away, as the President of the Board had decided to cancel the meeting and avoid hostilities. Only problem is, this means deferral of the debate about the research library: hope the decision doesn't get made before it is fully aired and discussed...


Pavlov's Cat said...

'* have finished the document making the "case" for a major in literary studies for the review of the new Arts curriculum, but barely mastering disbelief about having to do this'


Stephanie Trigg said...

Yes. Exactly. You thought it was bad ten years ago...