Apr. 1st, 2014 02:13 pm
woolymonkey: (singe a la licorne)
More evidence that grading criteria are getting fuzzier:
woolymonkey: (kitty hug)
The poetry chapter of AA100 is rolling round again so I'm rereading the Faber Book of Beasts.  Every year I marvel at

My Cat Jeoffry by Christopher Smart

Written in 17something when Smart was confined for insanity.  Best. Cat. Poem. Ever.

My favourite lines today:

For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer...

For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon...

For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat...

For by stroaking of him I have found out electricity...

And the one in the subject line, of course.
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
Off to Norwich today so it really must be autumn.  4 hours travel for 2 hours of teaching, but I enjoy working with my colleague there, travel is paid for, I get a lot done on the train, and the whole thing means I have zero preparation to do for running the same tutorial on my own with a Cambridge group the next evening.  So it's not as inefficient as it sounds.

This year for the first time I'm also teaching a course on English for Academic Purposes, but that one is entirely online - luckily since my group is in Bristol.
woolymonkey: (singe a la licorne)
From an unreal uni colleague: a post about computing that I want to be able to find again.

All I can say in defence of my own computer 'skills' is that at least I know I hardly have any.
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
Someone at Milton Keynes has emailed students to remind them that the end of module assignment (examined coursework) must be submitted at noon on the deadline date or it won't be marked. Not by noon, at noon.  I know this because several of them are now panicking.

Would serve MK right if they all submit at 11.59 and crash the server.
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
It's marking time for the first assignment again.

Requests for extension made before the cut-off date: 1
Assignments not submitted by cut-off date with no explanation: 1
Emails within 1 week or less of cut-off asking why they haven't had their work back yet, politely answered to explain that I get 2 weeks marking time: 5.

In a normal year, that would be more like 5: 5: 1.  Wonder if it's anything to do with tripled tuition fees?
woolymonkey: (Default)
Petition against Open University cuts

Please go sign.

If you've already signed the old one, this is a new one.  The idea is to get a debate in parliament, which needs 100,000 signatures... 
woolymonkey: (Default)
If, like me, you have no confidence in the government's policy on further, higher and adult education, there's a petition you can sign.

(I have no confidence in their policy on primary or secondary education either, but if there's a petition for that I haven't seen it.)

You have to say what institution you belong to, but I see nothing to say you have to be a teacher or academic. If you have kids at school, or went to school yourself, then you have a link with an educational institution. It's surely not just education pros who are affected by education policy.
woolymonkey: (wtf?)
1. From wikipedia, while looking for info about Spider's GCSE exam board, OCR, created by merging several qualification providers, including Midland Examining Group (MEG):

Subsequent physics syllabi released by the OCR included the now infamous (fictional) units the "Ocrawatt" and "Ocrajoule" due to overzealous find-and-replace on MEG's part (in previous and later syllabi, the units were correctly written as "Megawatt" and "Megajoule".)

2. from a student essay:

The reason people get a sense of spiritual wellbeing in Milton Keynes* is that the town 'contains so much Greenland'.

* If you still doubt the beneficial spiritual properties of MIlton Keynes you may need to read my previous post.
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
I find this phrase from a student essay is pure poetry:

the seemingly number of endless roundabouts.

Doesn't that perfectly convey the feeling of befuddled alienation you get when driving round Milton Keynes?

Lots of them are writing about Milton Keynes because it's one of the examples of places that might be considered sacred. Yes, really. It has ley lines, and streets aligned on solstice sunrise/sunset. Really. (It's in the course materials, admitedly without the bits about Satan and Heathrow airport, but I thought you'd like to have those too.)

It's a pity the assignment is Religious Studies and not Creative Writing because I'd love to be able to reward him for that.


May. 13th, 2011 12:52 pm
woolymonkey: (spidermonkey)
That's the last of this year's students' assignments marked and returned.

In June, I'll have a big batch of end of module assignments to mark (from other tutors' students), but for now that's it--I'm done!

Now for lunch and a book :)

Thank you

Apr. 5th, 2011 12:34 pm
woolymonkey: (wtf?)
The proletariat were the ones who ran the country and the bourgeoisie were the ones merely raping it for all it was worth to them. All it needed was for someone to point this out.

From a student essay on Engels and the industrial revolution.

And there's more... )

woolymonkey: (guitar chimp)

Play the first movement so that flies drop dead in mid-air and the audience leaves the hall out of sheer boredom.
---Shostakovich's instructions for his fifteenth string quartet., probably not that hard to follow, and one of many reasons the piece is never set for Associated Board Grade exams.

Yes folks, it's week 18 again on AA100.  I'm marking essays.

EITHER Irish Nationalism and the Invention of Tradition (about which I know exactly as much as is covered in the course materials)
OR Musical Tradition in the String Quartets of Shostakovich (about which I know even less)

Candidates should not attempt to answer both questions or write on more than one side of the paper at a time.


Jan. 20th, 2011 05:21 pm
woolymonkey: (wtf?)
What do you call a mondegreen if you read it instead of hearing it?

I've nearly finished marking those student assignments about Edwin Muir's 'The Horses'. The good ones were all hiding in the last batch, which cheered me up. Now I just have to mop up the late ones, so I'm not working to a deadline any more.

I still love the poem, but it will never be quite the same since a student quoted

Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick.
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.


That old bad world that swallowed its chicken quick.
woolymonkey: (guitar chimp)

Please send bike-hastening and dead-poet-appeasing vibes at 8pm tonight.
Here's why... )

It would also be helpful if you could wish for nobody to break a string, and for Spider to refrain from chewing gum on stage in front of the Headteacher like he did last year.
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
Still getting settled back after a great time at Sidmouth. Will post more about that later, but just want to gloat now because my Creative Writing result came through and I got... distinction!

It's a surprise because my coursework mark wasn't really high enough, but they must have bumped me up after the ECA. Yay!

It's a pity I always said I didn't think it was possible for creative writing markers to set a consistent and meaningful boundary between good passes and distinctions. I still don't, but I'll keep quieter about it from now on.

woolymonkey: (keyboard)
I've just submitted the last assignment for my creative writing course.  Fantasy this time (my choice), with the twist that you have to research the market and make believe you're sending it off to a magazine.   

The Road to Hell is Paved with Outsourcing and Accountancy )

Comments welcome--either on the story or on the market research.

Thanks to [ profile] tamaranth for beta reading, and apologies for late-night quick'n'dirty conversion from Word, which has eaten the indents, bolds and italics.
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
By way of a break from writing up my final TMA for the Unreal University's creative writing course, here's one I wrote earlier, the 'life writing' assignment.
Lessons learned:
1. Life writing is not biography. Anything that looks even a bit like an essay will get a fail. (A pity, because I can turn out essays in my sleep.) What's wanted is lots of vivid, present tense, wow!, in-teh-moment stuff.
2. Monkey does not like life writing.
3. But at least you don't have to write about yourself.

This one is too much like fiction. But I've been let off with a warning as long as I don't do it again. I could object that it's based on real historical research, and all the incidents actually happened. But then someone might notice that there's no hard evidence that my narrator actually existed.

Read the story... )

Like the rest so far, this scored within 2% of the 80% mark. So someone is being consistent, but I'm not sure if it's me or my tutor.
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
Being stuck in bed feeling ill and not doing very well at drafting my next creative writing assignment, I thought I'd procrastinate catch up with posting the previous one. It's two poems--one about Zil--and a commentary.

Under a cut because I'm embarrassed to have perpetrated poetry... )

It got 81% (my best mark yet--the Fulk story got 78). I'm determined not to be too bothered about the marks either way, because I'm aware how little they really mean. (But I do need to pass so the Unreal University will pay my course fee.)

short story

Jan. 3rd, 2010 05:33 pm
woolymonkey: (keyboard)
I've just completed and sent off my short story assignment for the creative writing course. Thought I'd post it here for my own reference and anyone else who's interested. Not sure yet if I'll be revealing the mark when I get it. (Got a 2.1 for the preliminary assignment.) 

Feedback, comments, chat--it's all welcome.  (You may find one of the characters seems familiar...)
A big thank you to the multi-talented [ profile] tamaranth who can beta read and monkeysit at the same time.

Assignment instructions under this cut.. )

story under this one... )


woolymonkey: (Default)

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