An evening to relax?

I had a busy day. I got stuck into photographing the latest batch of Irregular Webcomic! strips first thing this morning, straight after breakfast. It usually takes me to lunch time, but today I had an online meeting at 11:30, so I was racing to see if I could finish in time. I made it, just.

The meeting was with the lecturer of the image processing course I helped tutor recently, to discuss our ongoing work in revamping his data engineering course for first semester next year. We had a third participant, the woman from the university curriculum assistance team (I can’t remember what the actual title of the department is) who is helping us to make sure we hit a bunch of higher level learning goals.

For instance, she asked us if we have any exercises in reflection in the coursework – tasks where the students need to look back on what they’ve learnt and assess their own learning practices, how effective they’ve been, and which ones they should modify. It’s a sort of meta-learning skill, and the university tries to make sure that several such skills are integrated into the coursework along with the technical skills that the students learn. We came up with some ideas. The tricky thing is that you kind of have to do these meta-learning things by stealth, because the students themselves often see little point to them and simply won’t do them unless there’s a more compelling reason, such as it being part of an assessment task that they have to do.

Anyway, we have a good structure and good ideas for integrating the course into the wider university experience. The main issue we have is the amount of work to be done and the fact that the university doesn’t have budget to pay for additional people to work on it. The lecturer has a busy time schedule, while I have some spare time and desire to work on it, but he doesn’t want me to do work on it without compensation. He did indicate that he might be able to get some additional funding from the faculty, so that would be good if that works out.

This afternoon I worked on assembling some of the comics I’d photographed this morning. And we had a huge thunderstorm. The sky went black about 4pm, and there was intense thunder and lightning, as well as torrential rain. The storm passed in about an hour though, and the sky cleared up a bit afterwards. Apparently this pattern is due to repeat for the next couple of days.

This evening… I have no classes to teach! And for the first time in ages my wife has no outstanding dog bandana orders to fill, so she can relax from the sewing for an evening. So we might just be able to sit back and do nothing for a bit. Phew!

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