Tag: poetry

Burns

One of the bagpipes in our collection at St Cecilia’s. Picture taken by me in the room. No rights reserved by me. http://www.stcecilias.ed.ac.uk/

It’s that time of year again. I’m looking forward to an evening of poetry, haggis and song with good friends.

My favourite contemporary of Robert Burns is Mary Somerville.

Mary had a much loved uncle who was keen on punning.  Burns publicly made fun of Mary’s uncle’s punning and the uncle never punned again.

Burns, possibly a bit of an arse.

edtech haikus

We have some fun, creative programme managers around here. One has the crazy idea that we should get project boards and teams to reflect on the lessons learned from a project via the medium of reflective haikus.   This is what you get when you ask your Lecture Recording Programme Board to draft reflective haikus from their experiences of participating in the programme.

Students love it.
Powerful technology.
Accessible for all.

Scared at the start point.
Found our feet and so much more.
Brimming confidence.

Policy delays.
Sometimes arise the temperature.
All’s well that ends well.

Student employment.
Sound, but high administration.
Make it easier.

People have made it.
Together across the campus.
Very sound service.

The structure worked well.
Project team could make progress.
Good decisions made.

Colleagues are afraid.
What would be the best practice?
Get out to the schools.

Working it out together.
Breaking down barriers.
Business as usual.

Working together.
One big team.
Making a difference.

The retention period.
Navigating treacherous waters together.
To be revisited.

Knowhow captured.
Knowledge exchanged.
Change happens.

Emotion is motion.
Sharing the shifting.
Noticing the change.

We win over Hearts and Minds
Inclusion throughout our teaching
Must keep the ball rolling

Broken Moments of Learning
Resolved and repaired
Independence gained

Silent recording.
Disabled students can’t hear.
Wear the microphone.

A barrier or enabler.
The research reveals many facets.
The community comes together.

Pedagogy meets ethics.
Anxiety and confusion meet innovation.
All ending in positivity.

Give us every view.
We do intend to listen.
A project for all.

 

what will you watch?

Students watching Replay highlights. Picture from University of Edinburgh Image collection. CC BY https://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/a93pr4

We are more than two weeks into term now at University of Edinburgh.
Lectures are being recorded.
The sky has not fallen in.
The service is called Replay.
Students like it.
Staff like it.
We are gathering data.
The learning technology teams have shown themselves to be expert in the jobs they do.
The learning technology teams have shown themselves to be excellent in the jobs they do.
I’m not shocked.
Well done all.

 

grab some scottish pussy

If you feel the urge, as Donald Trump sometimes does, to grab some pussy, this 3D model of the skull of a Scottish Wildcat (Felis Silvestris) made by Dr. Tobias Schwarz, of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies has been shared as OER on Sketchfab where it can be viewed, grabbed, re-used and re-shared.  It’s a cat with big teeth.

You and I both know that phrases like ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ does not go down well with Scottish women, nor with our national Bard,  Robert Burns. Even in 1792  he warned that such locker-room banter was old-fashioned.   Burns’ poem on ‘The Rights of Women‘ describes three rights we can expect from men: protection , decorum and admiration.   On decorum I am confident he would have stood with most men and scolded Trump bigly.

‘There was, indeed, in far less polish’d days,
A time, when rough, rude men had naughty ways,
Would swagger, swear, get drunk, kick up a riot,
Nay even thus invade a Lady’s quiet.

Now, thank our stars! those Gothic times are fled;
Now, well-bred men-and you are all well-bred-
Most justly think (and we are much the gainers)
Such conduct neither spirit, wit, nor manners.’

On protection of our rights, one week in to the Trump presidency, I’m not filled with confidence. The pictures from the White House of Trump’s all-male advisors gleefully signing executive orders is chilling.

‘While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things,
The fate of Empires and the fall of Kings;
While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.’

At our Burns Night supper this week I was grateful to be reminded by Sian that it was Hilary Clinton who coined the phrase “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights,” . That was more than 20 years ago (1995) at  the United Nations Fourth World Congress on Women in Beijing.

“What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. That is why every woman, every man, every child, every family, and every nation on this planet does have a stake in the discussion that takes place here.”

If only that had been more important than how she managed her emails. This episode of ‘This American Life‘  Act 1: ‘Server be Served’ describes how Secretary Clinton was  scupperd by her own IT support.

The interviews “depict less a sinister and carefully calculated effort to avoid transparency than a busy and uninterested executive who shows little comfort with even the basics of technology, working with a small, harried inner circle of aides”.

( Act 2: ‘Knowing what we Know’, a dramatised conversation between Hillary and Huma is excellent too)