Archive for November, 2010


November 11, 2010

So it seems that it has been far too long since I last wrote anything here – sorry! 😦

So what’s happened in recent weeks?

1. The real reason for my spate of inactivity is that examinations are suddenly coming thick and fast which when you’re lecturing three different courses this is rather a drain on your time!

A particularly odd manifestation of this was a recent examiners’ meeting. One of the courses I’m lecturing, Linear Algebra I, is a prerequisite for most students of an even vaguely scientific background (and is taken by many less scientifically inclined people for gits and shiggles) so as you can imagine in a typical semester something like 1000+ students do this course. As a corollary the lecturing is split between several of us which makes setting the final exam (which is the same for everybody) somewhat difficult. Consequently an hour and a half of several of us sitting round a table arguing the relative merits of our proposed questions and compromising on which of them should finally be included. Or, more accurately, the well established academics who speak substantially better Spanish than me dictate everything whilst the more junior people like me quietly sit there and leave them to it. Strangely my proposed questions went down quite well – one was chosen for inclusion in the actual exam and a second one very nearly made it too (but in the interests of fairness to everyone, nobody was allowed more than one of their questions to be included).

2. The rainy season. The end-is-nigh rain storms have started up again. An annoying corollary of this being that the air pressure has dropped making it about as difficult to breath as it was when I first arrived. I’m sure this will pass.

3. A friend has brought to my attention the wonderful piece of software that is Expat Shield. Basically I can now fool my computer into thinking it is in the UK, so accessing things like (the non-advertising version of the) BBC news website and (the TV part of) iplayer are suddenly possible!!! Quite a revelation, I can tell you! (Yes, I know there are other ways of doing this and there have been for years, but many of them are too technical for a computational ignoramus like myself).

I’m sure there are other things, but it has been a bit of a long day!