The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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5:05pm on Thursday, 26th April, 2007:



This morning, I had to give a 9am lecture, my elder daughter had to arrive at college early for a French aural exam, and my younger daughter had to arrive at school early for a Maths Challenge quiz. I also had to visit my mother for breakfast (which we do once a week).

I could get any two of us there on time, but not the third. Consequently, I took my younger daughter in the car to my mother's and left my elder daughter at home to risk the bus.

I managed to get my younger daughter to school early, although it was a little too early — she went to her locker and was given a detention for opening it before 8:35am. Meanwhile, I was stuck in traffic trying to get onto the main road into Colchester from that part of town. It took me 10 minutes to travel 200 yards.

Fortunately, once I got onto the main road, it was reasonably clear and I arrived at the university with 25 minutes to go before my lecture. Yay! Except boo! None of the ticket machines were working in the car park I used, and only one was up and running in the car park next along. It took me 15 minutes to pay the 15p that would cover my parking until the (2-hour) lecture was over. This left me with just enough time to get to my office, pick up the Student Assessment of Courses forms I had to hand out, and find the obscure room we'd been put in.

Ah, yes, SAC forms. We used to give these to students after they had finished their progress tests earlier in the year, which got us a high number of returns but meant that students who had just had a mean exam would use them to punish the lecturers. Sometime last year, the decision was made to hand the SAC forms out at the first revision lecture of the summer term. After all, what student would be silly enough to miss attending a lecture in which the member of staff concerned would do their best to tell the students what questions they were going to be asked in the upcoming exams? And they'd be in a good mood, too, which should improve results!

No students attended my EE314 revision lecture today. I'd made my elder daughter take the bus and my younger daughter get a detention for nothing. I'd yomped around two car parks to find a working machine for nothing. I'd set up my laptop and sat waiting for 20 minutes in an empty lecture theatre for nothing.

And yet if my students get nothing in their exams, it'll be me who has to carry the can.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).