Sunday 16 June 2024

2024 Weeknote 24

A busy week of exam board meeting this week. I headed up to Birmingham on Monday and didn't come home until Thursday. On arriving at the hotel, the desk clerk offered me an upgrade to a family room. 'It's just got an extra bed in it,' he said, when I looked doubtful. 'OK,' I replied, 'as long as it has a desk - I need a desk.'

The desk:

I went back downstairs to ask them to put the extra bed away but he transferred me to another extra-bed room where the sofa bed was merely blocking the hairdryer/mirror, so I concluded that this was a hotel where a number of rooms had sofa beds that could not be folded away (I did try) and just got on with it. I did my usual ritual of eating takeaway in bed on the second night. I had nice, sociable dinners out on the other nights. The meetings went very smoothly (I'm almost suspicious) and I was able to spend time reading and napping - in fact, the desk was not used at all. I can only hope that the rest of the marking period passes as smoothly, though I have already had to fire someone and it's only the second day. Sigh.

Work has been predictably busy as a result of my absence; on Monday, the inspectors were in to observe the trainee as part of their inspection of the university (therefore this was not about me at all, but still felt sort of like it was) and then, in my only lesson of the day, two years 7s had a physical fight. I think that is the first time that has ever happened, in over 20 years. One of them was moved out of the class the very next day. Friday was spent catching up on all the things I should have done while I was in Birmingham and then feeling sad about the student now moved to a different class, because teaching them is not the same without her. But it is clearly in everyone's best interests. 

I've got well into a new book, Connor Iggulden's Stormbirds which was given to me by a tutee 9 years ago and which has resided in the plastic box of books that time forgot in the garage since I changed jobs in 2016. It is extremely readable and I like it a lot. I have also flounced my way through season 2 of Bridgerton, having been shamed by the release of the third season ... I am very behind on all the popular shows.

This morning I went for my first swim in the harbour of 2024. They reckoned it was 16 degrees but I think it was a little warmer. Still quite murky. There were hardly any people there but it was ludicrously difficult to find out how to book a ticket and I wonder if they're deliberately not advertising it too widely. I dropped in at the best bakery on the way home and picked up one of their apricot soft-serves. Ice cream for breakfast is required during marking season. 

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