Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Mischief managed

Well, that's graduation done. Decent speech from the Students' Union vice-president, worthy ones from the worthies. The honorary degree went to Sathnam Sanghera, who despite his day job with the Murdoch press, wrote an excellent memoir of growing up in Sikh Wolverhampton, Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton, and gave a great little acceptance speech. Other highlights were a card from Christine, and seeing the engraved Pen Anna-Maria gave to William. He's a Baudrillard expert and she's spent the summer at Disneyland, so the pen quoted JB: 'Disneyland is paradise…' - the other half of the quote speaks of 'toxic excrement'.

I felt a little less like Laura Ashley curtains circa 1986 this evening, after a student pointed out that our robes are in Gryffindor colours. Now to the pub to accept libations from survivors (or graduates, as they're technically called).

PS. I almost forgot. According to the platform speeches, Wolverhampton is the greatest university in the world, with a bright future. And not a place which is sacking 250 employees (management exempt), cutting degrees and modules, reducing student workload, increasing surviving staff's workload and increasing class sizes at all! How wrong I've been.


Ewarwoowar said...

Reducing student workload?

Is nice!

The Plashing Vole said...

No. It's superficially appealing, but there's so much wonderful material to learn and think about, to discover, and so little time. Further from that, how many employers are going to be impressed with a degree which makes so little demand on students?

I'm not a fan of the Oxbridge system, and work to no purpose is of no value whatsoever, but my brother and sister had to write, present and discuss two or three essays per week in one-to-one tutorials: that requires discipline and dedication.

Obviously, being an Oxbridge grad means having an easy life, and money pouring into your pockets, but you can't deny that that kind of workload means you just will learn a lot (or go mad and drop out).