Archive for August 27th, 2008|Daily archive page

Unnecessary distraction?

I’ve got a number of RSS feeds which I use the Firefox Live Feeds service, which thanks to Foxmarks synchronise nicely across my home, work and laptop.

There’s fourteen of them (I’ve just counted), from local BBC news to xkcd.  This is fine, but I’ve recently found that I’m spending a lot of time checking these, somewhat defeating the object of the idea of RSS, that being a timesaver.

So I’m trying an experiment, and turning off my ‘Bookmarks Bar’ for a week.  It makes the Firefox window much more minimalistic and ‘tidy’.

OK, I may miss some offers on HotDealsUK, but that could help my budget over the next month or so – you can have too much of a good thing I think, and I do have enough books, music and games to keep me going for quite a while.


The loneliness of the long distance invigilator

It’s exam resit time – when those students who didn’t quite make the grade in the main exam season have the chance to resit their exams.

I’ve got a total of five invigilations over four days.  Today’s a long haul, with exams this morning and this afternoon.

Luckily with wi-fi, and my laptop though the time can be productive – or should be!  At least the student numbers are smaller, and it’s easy to keep an eye on everyone in the (very) brightly lit rooms.

It’s been six years since I sat an exam – I’ve deliberately ensured that my studying since then has avoided exams.  It’s not that I didn’t do well in exam situations, but I still hated the stress of both the revision period, and the exam itself.

One thing that surprises me still is the poor posture that students adopt during an exam.  As I look around there are some students practically horizontal in their sears, and others who are hunched over their work like Bob Cratchit (who’s name sounds so much like scratch it, as his quil scratched agains the paper- good one Mr Dickens) on Christmas Eve.

(Having said that, I”m typing this leaning back on my chair, but at least my two feet are on the ground, and the advantage of being a touch typist is that I can look around the room whilst I’m typing).

In between stalking between the desks (with my non-squeaky shoes), I’m preparing the lecture for my ‘slot’ on induction day.  I’ve got the enjoyable part of telling students about the online support to their general studies, and then the ‘nasty’ bit about cheating and plagiarism and how it’s handled in the department.  All on their first morning in the university.  I think I’m getting the balance right between the two.

Well, an hour’s passed and students will start to disappear soon, better get ready for the stampede.