in Weeknotes

Weeknote #23

This week I have been mostly…

Becoming a toyboy

Once a year, for a period of nine weeks, my wife appears to be a chronological year older than me. It was her 30th birthday on Thursday, for which I bought her 29 presents and took her to Jesmond Dene House Hotel for afternoon tea. I took yesterday off work as well and, in fact, with some organisation around mLearn 2010, am managing not to return to the office until Tuesday 25th!

Restructuring my thesis

Whilst my original target of submitting my Ed.D. thesis on 1st January 2011 (the earliest date I’m allowed) now looks less likely, I have written more than half of it now. High time, therefore, to be firming up a title and a structure. More on that over the weekend.

Fixing my Mac

I’ve had all manner of problems with my MacBook Pro recently. It’s a work machine and IT services at Northumbria University couldn’t sort it. Taking it to the Apple Store they recommended a reinstall over the top of the existing operating system. Seems to have done the trick (fingers crossed!)

Getting angry

I very rarely get shouty-shouty, stampy-stampy angry any more. I’m far too civilised and philosophical for that. On the other hand, if something was going to tip me over the edge it would be the Browne Review of Higher Education. For those under a rock in the UK or international readers, some of the recommendations:

  • Removal of cap on fees
  • Students since 1998 should pay ‘real’ interest fees on their student loans
  • Public money to be targeted at STEM, Business and MFL

Further details here.

I could write several essays on this, but I’ll have to be satisficed by observing that, overall, the recommendations would make it less likely that my offspring attend university, whilst my subjects (Philosophy, History, Education) would be marginalised. Oh, and that £16,000 loan I took out to pay for my tuition? That which the Student Loans Company reckon I’ve still got over £15,000 left after 8 years of repayments? That would be increased. I think they call that changing the contract after signing. Bar. Stewards. :-(

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  • paulmartin42

    Congratulations you would appear to have been promoted to the "Gordon Brown squeeze until they squeal group". By increasing interest on your loan, increasing student fees for your kids (how can you contemplate denying them an education that you enjoyed for free), etc YOU have been promoted to the group least likely to kick up a big effective fuss, I can't imagine you on the picket line with your thesis. We have, supposedly, a bonfire of quangos – the fuel has to be gotten from somewhere….. cheers !

    • Doug Belshaw

      Not *entirely* sure what to make of that comment…

  • Owain Jones

    Jesmond Dene House, very posh doug!! I really think if I was 18 now I would think very carefully about doing a degree.

    • Doug Belshaw

      Me too! Didn't even cross my mind not to go to uni when I was 18…