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!)
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
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. 🙁
I’ve interviewed more people for the JISC mobile and wireless technologies review I’m undertaking and had my first appraisal on Thursday. The latter was more of a chat – a positive one showing I’m valued. I’m now 25% through my 2-year contract at JISC infoNet in an uncertain economic climate.
What next? Who knows! I’m happy in my current role and not concerned in the slightest about my future prospects. I’ve long since stopped even pretending that I know where my career’s heading – apart from going with what interests me and keeping my family financially secure, of course.
Disillusioned with corporate e-learning
The Oxford E-Learning ‘Debate’ was largely a waste of time. I’ve explained why on my conference blog here.
Realising the importance of community
I voted Liberal in the General Election, mainly in protest against the quite frankly dangerous Michael Gove. That didn’t work. Still, at least the Conservatives’ Big Society gambit seems to offer more than just swingeing cuts. Community is important. That’s why Hannah’s volunteering at the local fair on tomorrow and I’m joining the PTA at my son’s school next week.
Frustrated with my MacBook Pro
The thing I’ve loved about using a Mac every day since 2006 is that it’s usually a frustration-free experience. No crashing. No viruses. No constant maintenance. For some reason, almost every application seems to now crash on my MacBook Pro and it looks like I’m going to have to do a Windows-like reinstall. Let’s just hope it’s not going to turn into a bi-monthly thing (as it was when I used PCs…)
I spent Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday and Thursday at the Thinking Digital Conference, recording my thoughts about it here (I haven’t quite finished yet!) It was an awesome event, seemingly expensive but for the quality of ideas and knowledge I went away with, fully worth it!
Rationalising the work/private divide
It’s a tricky one, but I’m trying to get my head around my work interests and personal interests occupying the same space. It’s always been the case, but just a whole lot more obvious (with attendant consequences) in my current role.
Finishing off my first journal article
I’m going to be submitting my very first journal article on the ambiguity of ‘digital literacy’ soon. I’m sending it to my thesis supervisor this weekend to see if he can put his name to it at joint author…
Not selling our house
We’ve decided to take our house off the market. The thought of downsizing, even if transport links are better in Whitley Bay (where we planned to move), didn’t exactly inspire us. Looking around some houses there last weekend sealed the decision.
Selling my MacBook Pro
I decided to sell my 15-inch MacBook Pro this week, along with some other technology stuff I don’t really use or need. Interestingly I’m finding that – as Stammy noted recently – social media such as Twitter can be as good as eBay for selling tech stuff.