06 May 2022

Getting two years worth of presentations out of the way

After Easter, we would have only three weeks of teaching left. And quite often, it isn't very onerous. But I suppose that only holds when the dissertation presentations are not being held live. And this year they would be! So the Wednesday after the Easter break, the students were expected to upload their presentations and talk summaries. And that meant a lot of work for me. But I didn't immediately have a lot of time for that.

That Wednesday I could start working on it. On Thursday I was in the field, and in the evening at a book launch. And the Friday was a bit of a challenging day with the presentations of the two modules that lead directly into the dissertation module. We do modules in both the first and the second year that have presentations and pieces of scientific writing at the end of them, and these are the building blocks the dissertation is founded on. And their presentations were all crammed on the last working day before the dissertation presentations! For me, at least. It just worked out that way.

I had my second year students from 9 to 3, combined with Jaco's, as we always do these with two members of staff. We had 18 students in total. Three didn't show up, and three presented online. (One, for instance, had a broken ankle.) And it was a long session in a windowless room but I think it went well! The students stayed awake and asked interesting questions all the way through. And I still felt quite fresh at the end. This doesn't speak for itself; I find marking the presentations tiring, because you have to judge both the slides and the verbal presentation, and time it, and think of suitable questions for afterwards, and jot down your notes all at the same time. But at least we were doing it with the two of us; only one needs to do the timing.

I then quickly did some small tasks like answering urgent emails and then did the same thing with the freshers, between 4 and 6. There I had seven students showing up, out of nine. Not actually a bad score. In this session, the logistics were a bit more challenging; if students haven't submitted their talk where it belongs, they are expected to bring it on a memory stick. And ideally, they all have been uploaded where they belong of course, so there is no need for memory sticks, but that wasn't the case this time. And one student had to jump through some hoops to get access to his presentation. They were just making things difficult for themselves! But all those present did their presentations, and I even managed to get to the pub by 6 for a Welsh session with Jenny! 

It had been a long day, but I had got all these presentations out of the way in one fell swoop. And it is always good to see Jenny. But as I only left the pub by seven, I decided to have my dinner on the way home, sitting on a tree trunk beside the bicycle path. Getting work out of the way is one thing, but I don't like my dinners too late! This way it was quite pleasant. And because I had been carrying so much stuff I was on my slow bicycle. I was only home by 8:30. Two years of presentations done; immediately after the weekend, the third and final undergraduate year would follow! Watch this space!

The picnic

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