Black Friday, Black Tag events, Black Friday week(?), Black Friday weekend, Black ticket event, blah blah blah blah blah . . .
Can we stop yet?
Long day – about 12 hours today (it’s open evening here at College) – and I always find that by the time I get home (8.15pmish) I’m still buzzing – so getting to sleep is difficult.
Trouble is, the team are still in red-alert mode as we’re in the middle of an ‘observation window’ – where any session you teach on might be visited by a clipboarded person who checks if you’re brilliant, or crap. Every teaching session needs informing by a raft of paperwork: the annual plan, a profile list of various learning difficulties, timetables, registers . . . 2-folders worth.
I am currently sat in a classroom where IT students cannot save work, because there is some system problem. The same problem as yesterday, a different problem to last week, which was similar to the problem the week before – itself a re-run of the ‘glitch’ experienced the week before that.
Is anyone counting?
These items occurring just after the set-up weeks (Sept – into end October) where you’re requesting capacity uplifts (why?) to have printers attached to PCs that need them (why?) to have Moodle available to an entire Course (why?) – a score of IT glitches, or misconfigurations that a lecturer – moving from room to room during the course of a timetable tries to sort out, and just about manages by the end of October. I’ve just counted – I have sent 39 emails to MITS since the beginning of this academic year – all dealt with brilliantly, I have to say.
The lecturers put a really brave face on it, but – let’s be honest, we’ve all become a little scared of saying anything.
Meanwhile (and this week alone – my god it’s only Tuesday) – we are here: Capacities shrink, or Drives disappear altogether, files appear and disappear, files become read-only, entire software suites magically ‘not there’ after some upgrade, or some alteration.
Today (18/11/15) an excellent 2nd year A-Level student was within a centimetre of losing a year’s work – where the PC was steadily corrupting her memory-stick, I had enough time to help her – in-between pressing a keyboard stroke, and then waiting for the character to appear on-screen, a few seconds later.
This morning I saw thousands upon thousands of birds were setting off on their migration.
I saw them from the Lounge window, so high – wave upon wave of them, across a blue background, not seen for too many days.
It was the beginning of one of ‘those’ days.
I think the links, the associations we make, stay in the head or heart as long as we live.
They might sleep, just below the surface for months or years, but they remain, to be awakened – if times, systems, situations, circumstance allow.
Then it gets to late night: and you wonder if planetary systems, weather patterns, seasons, moon-state all conspire to guide our paths, or, at least, post sign-posts along the way.
I’m a Libran, so by october 23 you might think all that might happen, has.
Yet for me, throughout my life, November has always been power month.
I feel I could almost look up and see the stars swirling ever faster as they arrange and rearrange fate.
Given enough ‘real space’ in my head (so no job, then, temporarily) I sometimes feel I could mentally reach-up and point a finger into those swirling clouds of fate, just to witness the forces shaping-up, and to sense the colour of their determination, perhaps even their destination.
I can actually see them, sense then there as I drive, or stare out, or sleep – and my god they’re powerful.
But they move, god how they move – and one bad night closes it all down, renders any wider understanding impossible, actually not there at all, and you wait for the cycle to return, for that day, or those days when the insights return.
You can taste when they’re there – the smell of a morning, the silence of a dawn, or the behaviour of birds.
A message came through, confirming, and delighting.
Later in the day an email came through from my boss, congratulating me on something or other, I got rid of a piece of work that had been bugging me all week, and another email stated that the work “observation window” was about to start (next Tues) and last for 2-weeks – stress, then.
And don’t these ‘constructed’ concerns, these daily stresses, this muddle of real and not-real ‘jobs’ (our society has built for us, has taught us to believe in), interfere so much with any perspective we might have gained?
Certainly does for me.