…in my Friday and weekend emails and “chats” to the 10% of my colleagues who cause 90% of the problems because they either ignore the grade submission deadline, discover they don’t know how to use the system until after the deadline and expect help on the weekend, or are just too bloody ODD to do anything properly and on time without having to be asked five times and then argue about it:
I’m the parent that’s less fun
(the one that makes you brush your teeth)
I’m the teacher that’s more mean
(the one that won’t let you in the lab barefoot)
I’m the director that sends the angry emails
(the one that makes sure marks come in)
Or here’s another way of looking at it,
I’m the one that:
keeps the kids healthy,
the students safe,
and makes sure the system works.
Did you ever think that maybe I get tired of
being the grown up?
being the responsible one?
being the bad guy?
and would like to not give a shit about
legal liability and
Did you ever stop to think that if you
then I won’t have to be the bad guy?
Let’s do the experiment and see what happens.
Are you happy to be
a brick in the wall?
That would be dull, but,
at worst you could fall.
Or would you rather be,
a cog in the machine,
going round and round.
A repeating scene.
Or what about
the oil that’s flowing,
between the cogs,
to keep it all going?
Or the fuel being burnt,
down in the furnace,
sure that your sacrifice
serves a great purpose?
What other choices
does the machine proffer?
A sabot or a spanner,
are still there on offer.
For the dVerse quadrille prompt “stand”:
My mistake, I stand corrected…
Well, no, not stand,
I sit dejected.
In fact, I’m prone,
as I’m being vivisected.
Go on, use your scalpel,
dig in deep with that probe,
see what you unravel.
Am I role model or martyr?
Or cautionary example?
A quadrille is exactly 44 words, and it must include the prompt word or a variation thereon, in this case “stand”.
We slip from the buildings in ones and twos,
heels clicking across the carpark,
or stepping more quietly in flats.
Slipping away – not quite clandestinely,
but nonetheless with a sense of escape. Continue reading
This is an extended version of Integrity, based even more closely on Macavity (Eliot, 1939).
Integrity’s the missing value: I’m told it is assumed
that it’s a value we all share, or so it is presumed.
So it’s a bafflement when Turnitin raises flags in red,
and when we check for plagiarism – Integrity is dead! Continue reading
I started writing this because it’s almost marking season, and with the shift to online teaching and assessment there is a big focus on preventing and identifying plagiarism. It’s a sector wide issue, not particular to where I teach. And getting up early and seeing the dVerse prompt MTB: To turn again, about turn again. with the instruction to use epiphora (end of line repeats), and examples from Eliot, I thought it must be time to post it. So, with a nod to Macavity (Eliot, 1939):
Integrity, Integrity, there’s nothing like integrity,
it keeps you well within the law, and does it with sincerity,
but it’s power to inspire trust has gone and here instead
is a scene of academic crime – Integrity is dead!
Do not presume the authorship of anything you’ve read,
for Turnitin is telling you – Integrity is dead! Continue reading
This is for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday: The present moment. I got into the office, opened my email, my calendar, my magic pudding TO DO list, and then… though I knew I oughtn’t… checked the Monday dVerse prompt.
H_ opens the gate at the top of the driveway, swinging on it the last 45 degrees, though I always tell her not to. She gets back in and we barrel on down the hill. A flock of cockatoos, white against a blue sky, swoops across the road in front of me to land in a paddock among the ‘roos. “Got a ‘roo loose in the top paddock” I say, but H_ doesn’t get the joke, yet.
We lurch and bounce over potholes and gullies, until dirt gives way to gravel, gives way to bitumen and we admire the autumn colours as we trundle into the village – claret ash, golden ash, scarlet pin oak, Chinese pistachio and liquidambar… even the names speak of flames, of flaring vivid transience, of an excitability beyond tulips.
A quick hug, an “I love you, have a good day” and H_ is running for the school gate and I am heading for the highway, the parkway, past the airport where a jet roars overhead, white as a cockatoo in the sun, packed with pollies heading for Sydney. Traffic lights, merging lanes, security gate, carpark, swipe card entry so my presence is known, my whereabouts tracked. Down corridors where crimsons have been safely ritalined into placid rose, all verdant greens safely, sagely, Valium-dulled (although I think the ceiling is giving me separation anxiety).
Don’t swing on the gate,
it could come unhinged – we don’t
want ‘roos loose in here.
We covered our arses with paperwork
but we got a bit carried away,
what with HR, Disclosure and Ethics
there’re new forms to fill in each day! Continue reading
Thanks to the Mouse for the title to this one. And to no specific student or colleague for the rest.
I’m righting the writing,
un-verbing the nouns,
untangling the syntax
so meaning is found. Continue reading
Never forget this:
everything is a test –
every word, every look,
each recorded, each graded
against a secret rubric.
Never forget this,
so that when judgement is made
you will not be surprised
you will not be dismayed
to be found wanting.