Wednesday, November 15
My day began with a tutorial with an MA student who refuses to concede that he has finished his research and written his thesis. He continued through the meeting to explain what else he needed to do. My heart began to sink when I learned that he has arranged a three day event in December as a practical proof of his arguments about influence and the ways it works.
I pointed out that he had the option of finishing his MA right now, and getting an excellent grade, and then taking his ideas into doctoral research, where he would get the time and the assistance to turn them into something both interesting and public. For reasons that I did not (and do not) understand this got rejected in favour of an ever-expanding MA thesis.
We finally agreed that he will graduate in January and that the event in December will constitute his final piece of research. He then said that he will need my help in “framing the data” he will get from the event, the meeting ended, and I wandered off to make a cup of tea. I decided to have a Finnrexin instead, because my voice has started disappearing as my head cold begins to kick in.
I did some emailing and tentatively fixed some dates for the next season of Convivial Mechanics with Oliver. Then I went to the mall with Jutta and we found that a big new Suomalainen Kirjakauppa had opened where the health food shop had once stood. We wandered in and looked around. I pointed out they had no books in English and the man behind the till assured me that they would happily order anything I wanted and probably get it within 48 hours.
At 13:00 I had a complex Skype call with Rolando in Oslo about the apparent overlap between Topic 3 and Topic 9 in the Nobanet e-course. He has responsibility for 3 and I have responsibility for 9. We managed to work out a way of dealing with this. We will separate some of the content and we will take care to signpost carefully our reasons for using some of the same material.
After this I looked again at Julian Stodd’s MOOC and wrote some emails, before racing our of the building at 16:15.
At 17:00 Naa and I met in Töölö for a second bowling session. This time she won two out of the three games and I realised that my chances of winning Arcada’s bowling cup next week had shrunk to almost zero. Naa has got to like bowling and so we agreed that we will meet once more before the competition to see if we can somehow improve my chances.
Now we have just got off a number 4 tram outside Sokos. I look at the Christmas lights and their effects on the rain-wet roads. Helsinki really does look good at moments like this: bright, shiny and dark in a welcoming way. We will walk through the tunnel to the metro and pause for a milkshake. This time we will try McDonalds and decide that, all in all, we prefer the Hesburger shakes we had last week.
At home I will resume reading Elric: the Moonbeam Roads in which characters pass from scene to scene engaged in philosophical discussion about the relationship between chaos and law.