Family, Fun, Frivolity and Fruitfulness

8 Sep

What a fabulous summer! It was not quite as restful as I first envisaged but I did:

  • write open educational resources for Cork IT and Heriot Watt University;
  • read some novels, including reading in the daytime!
  • have an expensive new dental crown to replace one with an abscess underneath (certainly my most expensive endeavour of the summer);
  • catch up with lots of friends;
  •  a fair bit of grandchildren care with Phil;
  • take 4 kids for an exhausting day trip around York including Jorvik and the railway museum;
  • Help a bunch of under 10s decorate beakers with ceramic pens plus other crafting and baking;
  • Undertake a goodly amount of  mentoring;
  • attend Carole Baume’s excellent 70th birthday party in Milton Keynes, where I caught up with lots of Ed Dev friends;
  • relax in a lovely hotel, the Burnside, in the Lake District in a room with a hot tub on the balcony;
  • ​see 14 shows at the Edinburgh Festival with Carole and David Baume and Phil;
  • Examine an excellent PhD in UCC Cork on using Virtual Reality to teach Graph Theory: (congratulations Dr Larkin Cunningham!) and thereby expand my own knowledge in the area);
  • Help my BAFTA winning niece Becky Wray Rogers celebrate her wedding to Roddy Fawcett in Leeds, with lots of family and friends;​
  • worry a great deal about Brexit;
  • pick many kilos of fruit from our garden and make quite a lot of jam;
  • start my salsa classes for the Autumn term;
  • benefit hugely from attending the RAISE Conference in Newcastle (see #RAISE19)  thanks to Colin Bryson for letting me attend;
  • host Debbie Holley of Bournemouth for a relaxing weekend.
So now the new term starts and first up this week I am delighted to be receiving an Honorary Doctorate on Tuesday from Lincoln University: what a terrific thing to be doing at the start of the academic year, so thanks very much to the Vice Chancellor, Mary Stuart and colleagues for nominating me for this great honour.
After that it’s back to work with a keynote at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Teaching and Learning Conference on Masters level assessment on Thursday September 12th: my slides are here:  Masters-level-assessment-LSHTM-w.pptx (17 downloads) Also available is the PDF of my booklet I produced on the topic while at Leeds Beckett with some still-relevant case studies of innovative approaches, download pdf here: Assimilate-Compendium.pdf (9 downloads)
And what else does the Autumn hold for me?  More mentoring, some pleasurable writing, a block of work for Southampton Solent University, a workshop at Plymouth School of Art, a day working with Leeds Business School,  (all 3 on assessment), inputting to the Heriot Watt T&L conference where Phil and I will help to launch their new ‘Watt Works!’ guides, helping the new cohort of National Teaching Fellows celebrate their outstanding success, clapping loudly for Michelle Morgan when she  is awarded her Doctorate at Bournemouth University, cheering Phil on when he gives the final keynote at the SEDA conference in November in Leeds (and also presenting myself) and joining in conversations at Newcastle University about researching and publishing on teaching, learning and assessment, as well as making more jam and trying to get better at salsa dancing.  So I am completely full up with work and fun until Christmas and getting ready to celebrate my 70th birthday in February. Happy days!