Glass orb with reflection of the landscape in it

Exams are over, students would have been leaving Dundee, had the year not changed so dramatically in March.

I didn’t post last week – I think that ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) article  “the dreaded third quarter of lockdown” rang very true for me, in particular

You’ve hidden the notifications from a recently downloaded exercise app and you’re no longer telling people you’ll learn Italian. You begin to suspect that your friends have their own Messenger group.

Perhaps I’m quite not at that stage, but I think I was in some ways last week- especially from a work aspect. However, this week has been busy! As exams draw to a close, some staff are thinking about next semester. We’ve been looking at UCL’s ABC, nothing to do with Antipodean News agencies, rather an approach to enhancing modules for some time now. Suddenly we’ve had to think about how to run it online – which has lead to a busy week, but one that seems much more positive than the last few. I’ve drafted a post on that on the work blog – will update this to link to it once it’s finalised.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I do feel I miss the informal and friendly aspects of the office – in the WonkHE Newsletter this week I read

meetings are happening online, leading to much stiffer scripted engagements and reduced opportunities for the subtle human crafts of influence and hustle

I don’t feel most of the meetings I’m in are scripted, but, those subtle human crafts are missing. Online meetings are tiring; I end up often feeling either as if I’ve spoken over others (not good for them), or not had my voice heard (not good for me). It can be hard to remember if it’s a decision making process, as long as I don’t radically disagree, (or, if I do,  I understand the logic), it shouldn’t really matter who said what, but it does – I guess that’s just part of being human.

On a much more positive front, on Reading’s TEL blog, I read

Despite being physically distanced, some of us have reflected that this shared experience is, in some ways, bringing us closer together as a team. We’ll have a shared memory on which to reflect at a later time.

They’re using their meeting space as the “TEL & Bottle” for a relaxing shared drink that the end of the week … I like that – going to suggest it to our team 🙂

ON the twittersphere, I spotted this from Alison,  I fully agree – I’m lucky, I do have space, I think I’d find it much more difficult if I didn’t have the space at home – and the added bonus of the sea at the end of the road!

Also, on the positive front, I’ve been listening to John Naughton’s “From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg” on Audible (I think my paper copy is still in the office … )

The cover of From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg

Having done the MSc in Information Systems as Portsmouth in 98-99 (my MSc project looked at that upstart Google, while all my classmates used Alta Vista)  – I’m finding this a fascinating mix of memories, and different ways of looking at things. I posted a couple of weeks ago that I thought that Covid would be the defining event in my life – I’ve revised that – it’s the web. How different, and more difficult would lockdown be without it. I’d highly recommend the book, by the way.

Finally – it’s great weather this weekend – hoping that today’s lunch weather continues all weekend 🙂

Lunch in the garden



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