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Attendance and hybrid pedagogy

2021 December 3 Friday 22:00

As ever with technology, there are dys/u-topian perspectives to consider. In the case of the coronavirus pseudo-pandemic, whilst the ability to maintain progress in a curriculum is now more easy, the mentality to procrastinate is ever more facile. To the detriment of teacher work-load, it is becoming increasing frequent for students to demand remote lessons, concurrent with classroom "in-person" lessons. Understandable, but there is a lack of appreciation of the extra pedagogical plans necessary for such teaching to occur. With this "genie out of the bottle", subject leaders will need to manage consumers' students' expectations.

Career progression

Another career complaint: with many years' survival (i.e. over-qualification, no professional nor social network, mediocre academic performance, never promoted), the work week concludes with yet another rejection for new jobs applied. Not even an interview...

Webmention: periodic table of gnu/linux distributions

Reply: 'Jure Repinc', courtesy of 'Lily Collins-Jordan'

It was a surprise to see a "mash-up" between the most elegant of scientific presentations and the inherent (dis)advantage of the diversity of gnu/linux software distributions, at 'Distrowatch'. The legend is a nice touch.
display of various GNU/Linux distribution software in the style of the periodic table of chemical elements

Pfighting the pfizer propaganda

2021 December 9 Thursday 20:18

Earlier this week, was the broadcast of a very interesting lecture by Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, who was responsible for the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca sars-cov-2 vaccine. Notable comments were the rebuttal of the infamous claim:

I think the people in this country have had enough of experts... from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong." Michael Gove, Sky News, 3 June 2016;
as well as the lies about the risks of their vaccine. Although there was humility about the need for scientists to improve communication (true), such a self-criticism reminded of a recent podcast about the corrupt behaviour of a certain other pharmaceutical company.

One notable omission was discussion about patents. Whilst the initial decision to plan manufacture and distribution on an "at cost" basis to minimise commercial profit, the more long-term issue of pharmaceutical patents was omitted from the lecture. Perhaps due to European and usa reluctance to cede further economic development to other countries.

Assessment in an uncertain environment

2021 December 20 Monday 17:34

Thankfully, more (but still in-sufficient) peoples are beginning to express dissatisfaction at dubious liberty restrictions due to a sars-cov-2 pseudo-pandemic. The virus is surprisingly selective: top attitude students; conscientious employees; competent managers; all appear un-affected...

What to do about the erratic attendance by all concerned? Reliance on exams has never been wholly satisfactory and everyone (almost?) would not want a return to "course-work", whereby teachers helped guided students to achieve the "the best grades they deserve". Perhaps it would be viable for portfolio work produced by students, to be allocated randomly by other teachers elsewhere within the country to mark, with two exams seasons (33 % each of total grade) in the final year (January, June). Just an idea: what would a mere pleb know?

Chromebook gnu/linux

Recently got to use a recent chromebook (note: the original chromebook acquired > five years ago, still going strong!) and was pleasantly surprised at the ease to install, use gnu/linux. Appears integrated with the original operating system and apps software is quite easy to install. Now promotion to the students is needed, about the power now available...

Broken web rant 2

2021 December 27 Monday 15:56

Further to a previous post about the modern-day web browser usage, it is increasingly a sad experience that the quickest, easiest way to view web page content is with 'noscript', 'easy image block' firefox extensions enabled and 'view', 'page style', 'no page style' activated.

Book review: 'Phosphate rocks'

book cover image

With gratitude to 'Soh Kam Yung', have enjoyed a holidy season read of the aforementioned book. Admittedly not a regular book reader, this title was of natural appeal and the constant re-direction of the prose, from story, to chemical engineering theory, made it slightly compelling to read. Surprised that the book was finished in its entirety within a few (holi)days; a retrospect, indicative of some enjoyment! A minor question: for the benefit of the chemical engineering sections, would some (stylised?) plant diagrams enhanced the book?

Would gce a(s) students become inspired to pursue chemical engineering/chemistry, during a summer reading such books?

Life in an uncertain environment

2021 December 31 Friday 16:58

When walking the streets and noticing a cat, a fox "take cover" at the near presence of a human, reminds how as a species, we have nearly obliterated the tolerance of organisms that are physically larger (individually) than us.

Life pre-pseudo-pandemic (before 2019) is becoming to seem increasingly distant. In consideration of Gaia theory, remain unsure who will win the battle between those that have benefitted from the status quo of global capitalism and those that wish to exploit extant events to encourage revolution. Ironic that a non-visible organism has been so successful to force change in behaviour. If the long term impact is: reduction in fossil fuel use; reduction in human population in "advanced" economies; reparations for historic environmental, colonial, imperial exploitation; long live the pseudo-pandemic! ;)