Author Topic: University Challenged  (Read 31623 times)

Blue Jam

  • Some problems in the theory of molecular vibration
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #480 on: September 25, 2020, 06:37:52 PM »
I once got told off for not signing the out of hours book when going back to my office to get something I forgot after the School christmas party. Oh, and also for "being seen" taking a coffee from one of the meeting room coffee machines (free at the time) - "this was for a visitor" (my wife) so I had the last laugh.

My department was using a sign-in system where you had to scan a QR code and then input your details. I and a load of other peeps got a telling off for apparently not submitting the form, before it emerged the crap wifi was to blame that day.

Now we have to use some kind of app to sign in. The first time I tried it didn't work and I thought "Fuck this, I'll just take a bollocking via email". I waited for my e-bollocking but it never arrived. I haven't bothered signing in since.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #481 on: September 25, 2020, 06:58:47 PM »
Heh, don't worry -- I was the undergrad involved with the prof(s), not the other way around.

Mine is a small programme, so I ended up PL for a little over 6 years. I had no teaching relief during that time. Now the role is divided amongst 3 people because 'It's such a difficult role for one person to balance with teaching and research'. To be fair, it's not just my programme; a number of the humanities programmes are dividing the chores amongst several people, as the demands on PLs have become increasingly mental over the past few years.

I begged to be replaced, because I didn't want to be in charge of a second revalidation event. And because I was falling between the cracks when it came to grants, research, &c. I'm hopelessly behind where I should/wanted to be at this point, and I no longer qualify for some of the bigger grants, like the BA mid-career scholarship (too old/too far past my PhD year).

Interesting article in the Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/sep/25/uk-universities-bullying-junior-staff-into-face-to-face-teaching

or did I already post this?

no, thanks. The Russell Group Unis should be named and shamed. No point Northumbria getting a stern telling off.

Watch out for Exeter in the news in the next months, btw.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #482 on: September 25, 2020, 07:41:29 PM »
Toyed with retraining to teach Latin at a school -- I don't have a teaching certification, and I don't know if you can teach at any schools in the UK without one (you can teach in private and independent schools in the US without a state certification, for example.)

You can here too although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as any less stressful than your current job!

Attila

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #483 on: September 25, 2020, 08:16:56 PM »
You can here too although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as any less stressful than your current job!

As I guessed...teaching is hardcore, and the teachers I know are run off their feet with endless paperwork and league table bullshit.

This has been a shit week, and I'm guessing that's the score with a lot of teaching staff from everything I was hearing from colleagues today. Not a single one of my classes went to plan -- it wasn't my lessons or the content, but because of the enormous faff that is blended learning. The students know it's shit, too, and I hate looking like an incompetent fool in front of them (I can do that on my own without adding the useless tech we have to work with).

The rare flashes of actual teaching and engagement I had this week only make me feel more down, as I can see so much potential for good discussion and stuff being torpedoed. It was almost as if teaching accidently got done this week by mistake. Bleah.

Now to work most of the weekend to figure out how I'm going to make the 'real' seminars work (as opposed to the induction ones) next week.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #484 on: September 25, 2020, 09:02:10 PM »
Just riff it


"did you know Caesar invented the Waldorf salad? Nero created the coffee chain Costa? Commodus invented the bidet" that last one is probably correct.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #485 on: September 25, 2020, 11:10:17 PM »
This just drfted into my feed, a good precis from a student pov

https://twitter.com/nicmharcuis/status/1309599281280679941

looks like students in glasgow are planning a rent strike
https://twitter.com/UofGRentStrike


Re: University Challenged
« Reply #486 on: September 26, 2020, 07:50:07 AM »
I do worry about the mental health of our Uni students, particularly first years, who tend to struggle at the best of times, in the first term.

buttgammon

  • How thick is wall?
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #487 on: September 26, 2020, 08:14:15 AM »
This just drfted into my feed, a good precis from a student pov

https://twitter.com/nicmharcuis/status/1309599281280679941

looks like students in glasgow are planning a rent strike
https://twitter.com/UofGRentStrike



It's basically a con, isn't it? My institution has been especially brazen about this, changing its rent policy so students had to pay for the full term up front. Perhaps the recent face-offs we've had with more senior people in the university have made me paranoid, but it did occur to me that this was to stop rent strikes from happening.

I do sympathise with the students. They were totally misled by the university, who couldn't have known we were going to be shut down by the government, but who very well knew they were making promises they couldn't keep and were forcing students and staff alike into a dangerous situation for purely economic gain.

Puce Moment

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #488 on: September 26, 2020, 09:16:39 AM »
Yes, misled, but everyone saw this coming months ago. I don't know how the Unis got away with it.

The recent news story about students possibly being locked down in halls over Xmas and new year seems to have been a wake-up call.

If my Uni find out that I have been advising students to defer for a year I'd probably be fired, but that is clearly the most sane option right now.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #489 on: September 26, 2020, 09:54:59 AM »
It's time to rise up for those of you remaining in HE. There has been no better time to reverse decades of corporate encroachment on the education of our youth and the land grab by nefarious organisations masquerading as altruistic figure heads of grand institutions. It sickens me to see this. I've felt it, but have largely been hermetically sealed by not being involved in the machinations. Rent strikes are only the start. Industrial action across the board.

buttgammon

  • How thick is wall?
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #490 on: September 26, 2020, 10:44:46 AM »
The neoliberalisation of universities has destroyed the bonds of solidarity that we need to make lasting change. As a part-time teaching assistant, I've seen myself and my colleagues get squeezed out of everything. Most of the permanent staff agree with us, but there are still those who like to slam the door in our faces from the relative sanctity of their positions. The SU has been taken over by rugby lads and Tory boys who hate us for taking our working conditions seriously and not wanting to teach face-to-face, which they've agitated for against all of the facts. The main trade union here seems much weaker than its British counterpart and isn't too interested in us.

The postgraduate union is supposed to represent most of us (as we're mostly PhDs) but they don't care either. I had to fight for us to be represented within their structures at all, and any labour issues I have raised to the leader (who is a genuine moron) have been met by platitudes and a load of social media bluster about how she's honouring her 'manifesto' by getting the uni to give us a new Lavazza coffee machine to use when we reopen. I'm having to be a little vague here but I sent her a lengthy and detailed email about our concerns. She met the tinpot dictator who runs the place and only raised one of these issues, ignoring the bigger ones altogether. When we were given a bit of clarity and a minor policy change that didn't improve our safety, she trumpeted it as some kind of victory.

Apologies for ranting. I'm very angry about things, and although I've had a lucky escape from being sent over the top, it's exposed what a rotten and corrupt place this university is. Solidarity to all of you who are being forced to work in unsafe conditions.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #491 on: September 26, 2020, 12:05:26 PM »
You can always revolt and take it by 'force'.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #492 on: September 26, 2020, 12:46:39 PM »
I dunno thow they'll do a rent strike easily though. I don't think I saw the money that went on my rent when I was in uni. I imagine many will be in a situation whether loaned or not, that's been taken out of their control by mum and dad to stop them pissing their money up the wall and not being able to pay it.

Still good on them.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #493 on: September 26, 2020, 04:27:38 PM »
Yes, misled, but everyone saw this coming months ago. I don't know how the Unis got away with it.

The recent news story about students possibly being locked down in halls over Xmas and new year seems to have been a wake-up call.

If my Uni find out that I have been advising students to defer for a year I'd probably be fired, but that is clearly the most sane option right now.

yeah, while not advising it directly, if students have indicated that they want to defer, I have made it as easy as possible.

Re: University Challenged
« Reply #494 on: September 26, 2020, 04:32:10 PM »
We've gone the other way for our course - you will be face to face for labs, everything else will be online except for some maths tutorials and they will be supported online. It has gone down quite well, students seem to appreciate they will be in one day per week for a solid, socially distanced, session and the rest is online.

I guess we're lucky, in one way, in that many of our students are local and commute in.

Puce Moment

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #495 on: September 26, 2020, 05:30:11 PM »
I do feel sorry for students currently locked down in halls but also....

WHAT THE FUCK DID THEY EXPECT?

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #496 on: September 26, 2020, 05:41:29 PM »
I do feel sorry for students currently locked down in halls but also....

WHAT THE FUCK DID THEY EXPECT?

Back in the 90s, a majority of the students in my halls would spend most of their days holed up in curtained and squalid rooms anyway.

Blue Jam

  • Some problems in the theory of molecular vibration
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #497 on: September 26, 2020, 05:47:25 PM »
Cases now confirmed at Bollock Halls in Embra but the buildings aren't in lockdown just yet. Fucking hell.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #498 on: September 26, 2020, 05:50:13 PM »
I asked my mate who works at the Aberdeen Uni if they were kicking off there but he says not that he knows of, although some of them got busted and fined for parties they weren't supposed to be having.

Dex Sawash

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Re: University Challenged
« Reply #499 on: September 26, 2020, 07:55:16 PM »
(imagine fucking having to fly in and out of Denver regularly!!).

Never had a hairy situation at Denver, mountains are 30+miles away so there is no ridge lift turbulence.
Can be breezy so may have a crosswind landing occasionally. Pretty much like Chicago, dead flat. ( there is a brown, low rolling terrain so the terminal is sometimes out of view from the taxiways which is kind of surreal)

I guess it is a long flight from everywhere else though.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #500 on: September 26, 2020, 08:08:08 PM »
Cases now confirmed at Bollock Halls in Embra but the buildings aren't in lockdown just yet. Fucking hell.

Individual flats, is my understanding. Does a whole tenement get shut down when one non-student starts coughing in it? It’s already bad enough that different rules have been imposed on students than the rest of society. It wouldn’t surprise me if they all head back home in a few days. That’s assuming Sturgeon lets them.

Blue Jam

  • Some problems in the theory of molecular vibration
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #501 on: September 26, 2020, 09:07:53 PM »
Individual flats, is my understanding. Does a whole tenement get shut down when one non-student starts coughing in it? It’s already bad enough that different rules have been imposed on students than the rest of society. It wouldn’t surprise me if they all head back home in a few days. That’s assuming Sturgeon lets them.

I got an email specifically mentioning Bollock Halls, but yes, I agree that it's very unfair to stigmatise students like this, as much as they have been annoying me lately. When I came to Embra I was a 30-year-old mature student, single, living in a private rented flat on my own and not going to any of the usual freshers' events because I was too old and knackered for that sort of thing. Would I have been forced to stay at home? It does seem very unfair.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #502 on: September 26, 2020, 09:16:02 PM »
I got an email specifically mentioning Bollock Halls, but yes, I agree that it's very unfair to stigmatise students like this, as much as they have been annoying me lately. When I came to Embra I was a 30-year-old mature student, single, living in a private rented flat on my own and not going to any of the usual freshers' events because I was too old and knackered for that sort of thing. Would I have been forced to stay at home? It does seem very unfair.

I think it's basically unenforceable innit, mature students off campus are no bigger risk than 'young professionals'. Undergrads who aren't freshers and not in halls are  unenforceable and complete dangers though.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #503 on: September 26, 2020, 09:54:03 PM »
Never had a hairy situation at Denver, mountains are 30+miles away so there is no ridge lift turbulence.
Can be breezy so may have a crosswind landing occasionally. Pretty much like Chicago, dead flat. ( there is a brown, low rolling terrain so the terminal is sometimes out of view from the taxiways which is kind of surreal)

I guess it is a long flight from everywhere else though.

I think its the turbulence coming in or out of the airport, plus the frequent storms.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #504 on: September 26, 2020, 10:43:20 PM »
This has got to be the beginning of the end for f2f teaching this term at least. I’m not aware of any announced cases at my uni so far but statistically there has to be some.

Sebastian Cobb

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bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #506 on: September 26, 2020, 11:07:30 PM »
Exercise and food lul

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #507 on: September 27, 2020, 08:50:02 AM »
I can’t see in-person still happening at the end of October. Which actually is pretty easy to do logistically, in fact easier than a mixture of online and face-to-face modes.

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate that, en bloc, students can be annoying (and most of that is just immaturity). Individually, they’re generally decent people. Most of the ones I know personally are just trying to do the right thing. The news article about police at our halls revealed that the parties in question were gatherings of around half a dozen people. But of course we’re made to think of classic student parties with 30 people crammed into the toilet. I’m sure there will be some of those going on, but let’s give people some credit.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #508 on: September 27, 2020, 08:57:51 AM »
I can’t see in-person still happening at the end of October. Which actually is pretty easy to do logistically, in fact easier than a mixture of online and face-to-face modes.

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate that, en bloc, students can be annoying (and most of that is just immaturity). Individually, they’re generally decent people. Most of the ones I know personally are just trying to do the right thing. The news article about police at our halls revealed that the parties in question were gatherings of around half a dozen people. But of course we’re made to think of classic student parties with 30 people crammed into the toilet. I’m sure there will be some of those going on, but let’s give people some credit.

well said. fuck the adults in the room.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: University Challenged
« Reply #509 on: September 27, 2020, 09:05:02 AM »
I hope they don't die or cause the death of anyone else. Truly.

Cunt

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