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Friday, June 17, 2005

It's all gone quiet

Sorry folks, been a bit busy.

Had a proposal to work on that could net our group about £200,000. Not to be sniffed at and it had already passed the first hurdle so it was worth pursuing. I am back to being a small fish again now, but the pond in which I swim is also pretty small compared with other groups in our field. Consequently even us minnows get called on to contribute to the admin. and money hunting.

I am attempting to correct the abysmal grammar of one of our PhD students; to be fair it is not that bad since English is not his first language by a very long shot, but it is very time concsuming, especially since we have also argued over the scientific content. He is almost as stubborn as I am.

Plus I am trying to get a paper written. It won't be done for some time as I am also trying to rewrite bits of another paper that I had reviewed (hey, can't get it right first time all of the time!). That has been sat on the backburner for way too long since I had no time to do anything whilst teaching.

Speaking of teaching more shit is hitting the rotating-air-mover. I have finished all marking that can get dumped on me for the moment but there are problems looming with the MSc projects. One girl is doing great: she is racing ahead, but she is Chinese and has problems with her english (much better than my chinese - whichever dialect or sub-language you choose). As a consequence I am having to rewrite portions of her work to make it suitable for her project. The other guy -the pushy one- has hit a brick wall. The company that he is working with don't like what he has produced so far and have asked him to start over - I am not too surprised. Of course now he is very worried and I imagine that I will have to try to help him sort it out, probably by saying the same things I said to him the first time when he ignored me...

Add to this the fact that we have 6 2nd year students who have been offered resits. Two of them have been offered resits for every course - not retaking the year, just resitting the exam. the reason behind this baffles me as I know the two gents in question. My view is that they have failed the year and so they should be hoisted out; the university's view is that now they have to ensure their own funding and work like any other business they have to ensure that they keep students for as long as possible. So we have to organsie resits for these guys. That means I have to write two new exams for them to complete - different from the past exams. This is not as easy as it sounds. Plus I then have to mark them. Not my idea of fun, especially since I am no-longer employed as a teaching member of staff. What would they have done if I had left the university and gone elsewhere? but of course I didn't and since I am here I have to do as I am told since I am caught by that catch-all phrase at the bottom of my contract:
"...and any other duties as directed by the head of department."

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