29 October 2018

It's not getting easier

I tend to think that next week, work will not be so busy anymore! I suppose I have to believe it. The previous week had been quite full-on. I figured the one after would be better! But it wasn't. I was already aware I had to process the data of the field trip, and that that was the week I shoudl try to assign all my dissertation students to a topic and supervisor. That seems to be a heck of a lot of work! But then I was reminded of that we also have to submit the exams for the first term. The exams aren't until January, but the external examiners check them beforehand. This way there is still some time to amend them. And I wanted to entirely change one exam!

In the old days, the students were given an article on one of six topics (weird events in palaeoceanographic history) to do an essay and presentation on. James would then talk the articles together to a coherent story. And there would be exam questions about it.

I do it differently; I divide the students into groups (per topic) and have them create the narrative. If they leave something out, I add that. And now all six topics will be in the exam; they weren't before, and the students thought it was unfair that some people would find their presentation topic in the exam, while others wouldn't. They were also afraid that some topics would ot be presented very well; if that would be one of the few topics in the exam that would make things hard. And they were right! So I made sure to put all six topics in. But that meant I need to know everything about every topic, right now. I know I had read up on it (very frantically) the year before, but that still meant I had to brush up on it! So I spent the entire Tuesday, when I didn't have any contact hours, on doing just that. I was in the office by eight (I had driven) and I left at half past seven. I had skipped Welsh. That is an extreme measure!

So when that was out of the way I could focus on topic assignment...

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