Showing posts from February, 2011

An endocrine analysis of ...

Having fully developed my cynical gland, an endocrinologist would be able to use my hormones to measure my levels of bemusement. Over the last ten days I have seen three instances, where three very different individuals are clearly operating under the delusion that their universe centres on them. You could be forgiven for thinking that they may be successful at what they do, but for each, I see ‘players’ who play at their games but seem to contribute nothing new or unique to the collective good.

Yet, they wave, thrash, bluster and boast.

I am sure I am no better, but have learnt to laugh at what I am not.

Three thoughts for today

Somewhere in the muttering madness of my mangled mind is the a little voice that often enquires why? Not the big philosophical why, not a theological why nor scientific or for that matter anything so grand. My little why amuses itself with the minor questions of the universe, insignificant examples like:

Why do people get angry about the apostrophe, does it kill, maim or maul? When I ask for black coffee, why does the question ‘do you want milk?’ come in reply, its black, not white. Rules, they are tools, they are not laws or divine utterances, if something has a rule, why do you let it control you, rather than question why it may be there in the first place.

Up for air ...

Have you ever been in a situation where you find that you have too much work on. Yep that was my problem, sticking my hand up in the air for too much and reaping the reward. Soooo .... after a week where I could not see any metaphorical timber for the forestry a thought wandered into my mind reminding me of why I decided to redirect my career around six years ago.

I was not working smarter, I found myself working harder.

Not good, indeed it was not good.

So after some thought, in fact a great deal of thought, I had a conversation with an editor who I have to applaud as being very pragmatic.

A few other matters need to be put to rest and one may remember why I work and where I work.

If you understood none of this, don’t worry, it doesn’t bite, you can control your work load, it does take a little practice and I am still making the mistakes.

Can you make the decision for me please ...

Are you in charge of making decisions, find them too difficult to make, need assurance from others then, here is some advice from me.

Get a bleeding grip, make the decision and have the courage to live with it!!!

Thank you for reading this public service announcement, there may be some reading this in need of a backbone ;-)

One more bit is being crammed in ....

In ones mind is a limit, as each new fact wanders in, there is a whole array of neurons screaming for respite and committing ritual suicide as you read this.  Whilst the mind is a wondrous tool and for the species is probably our greatest asset (along with our thumbs). It can only suffer so much abuse before the brain, calls time on the torrent of information.

Today, I felt that their is only so much excitement one can take in the realm of virtualisation, sorry chaps, me synapses are seeking legal representation.

As I sit here dribbling nonsensically and chatting with the teapot people, there is a reassurance that there is always more to lose and wonder what we do actually forget.

Me thinks they doth protest too much ...

Just been reviewing some feedback from a very irate prospective lead internal verifier who, upon discovering that they had not accomplished the selection/sampling process felt need to vindicate themselves by sending an irate and pernicious appeal to the awarding body.

The saddest part is not the appeal itself, its a right they have and one I am pleased to defend, but the way the individual concerned approached the issue.

Starting point was the threat to move over to another awarding body’s qualification, which has little similarity to what is offered in the qualification. So in order to spite their nose for the sake of their face, they are willing to sacrifice the education of their students for the benefit of their vanity.

Missing the point, they completely misunderstood the rules for the qualification, seeming to have added some of their own.

Then getting the terms of a criterion wrong, in what would have caused a blocked qualification anyway, the main reason for having lead interna…

An educational uncertainty principle

In quantum mechanics is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, an axiom that explores how you can only accurately measure one physical property at any given moment. In education, a vastly complex and incredibly dynamic system, we often have the same issue, especially when change is proposed.

Currently in the vocational educational space, the government in its wisdom (or lack of, its your choice) is reviewing vocational qualifications in schools in comparison to the assumed relative value of academic qualifications at the same level. With two distinct educational paradigms each operating in the same space, my question is what may happen if you alter the trajectory of either. Out there is a large community of learners now benefiting from a more tailored education giving them a practical experience of technology, ensuring that they are able to become potentially employable. The risk of removing this property, is the risk of disengaging a generation and further damaging the skill set of ou…

O ye of little courage, be gone with you and pass not my lintel until ye gain a bone in yon back ....

Over the top, hope so, have watched a few emails come from some souls for whom courage is not their strength. You get the ‘confused’ emails, knowing full well that they are not, those who are ‘concerned’, only because they need to ensure they can blame you if it goes not their own way and the others who need you to think every thought for time and help them earn their money and take responsibility for them. The thousand deaths of cowardice seems suddenly very apt, I am sure they put on their CV’s that they are ‘decision makers’ and ‘leaders’ but the reality is that they are not.

Spleen vented ;-)

They do believe their own rhetoric, honest guv ...

In some of the national game play I am involved in the review of different centres to assure and ensure their compliance to some of the many national standards. Whilst I am by no means an ofsted inspector, for those we don’t utter these words of Mordor again, I can, if appropriate prevent a centre from certificating their students for an extensive range of qualifications.

Isn't dangerous what a little power can be ;-)

Nevertheless, this is not the subject of my thoughts for today.

One of the entertainments I get to hear is the rhetoric from the centre representatives, there is a suitable saying that ‘Bull***t baffles brains’. When I hear the rhetoric being switched on, having played these games in the past as the centre representative, I start dangling little (and big) fishes of uber-rhetoric to see if they bite and up the ante, sadly they do.

Often they believe that I want to hear it, when they hear me reflecting their words, they cannot escape from the need to layer the rhetoric…

The real deal ....

Apologies for not blogging for a while, the cup overflows at the moment with book edits amongst other things.

But apart from this I am slowly gaining a new respect for educators, not that I never had this before, it does require an open mind and the opportunity to visit different academic centres to gain an understanding of what is in the hearts and souls of these personas.

Having worked in a culture where excellence=inspection-grades and excellence=resources; the culture is seldom focused on the quality and content of the educational experience, instead obsessed with appearance and making the results fit the expectation.

I am sure there are those who would decry the last statement, please do, I am in the mood for some amusement.

What has impressed me the most is when I see a centre with nothing special to offer, when resources are lacking and the culture is not inspection-grade driven. Instead of worrying about resource, or results, they are keen to make the learning experience engag…