the week so far (or, how I learnt to stop whingeing and love grading)

Monday: Finished grading one section of a graduate-level course I'm TA-ing for. Happened at 4am. Slept.

Tuesday: Got up at 7am. Thought that there was something that I needed to do. Ah yes, the lecture for my own class. Contemplated calling in sick. Realised it was "security" day and decided to ad lib.

Class went surprisingly well. We talked about issues of "traditional" security and "human" security.

Wednesday: Ditched the Dalai Lama to have lunch with two out of three dissertation committee members and a rather nice globalisation scholar (NGS). Wore a proper shirt (with jeans and a pair of red shoes) as a concession to formality only to find NGS was one of those typically-casual and amusing European types who wouldn't have cared if students had shown up in flip-flops. Joined 3 other TUWSNBN's PhD-ers in listening to said scholar's talk. It was all about how the state is now obsolete.

Felt rather miserable since my dissertation is all about the state. Wondered how to inform it that it was irrelevant and useless as various "transboundary" stuff was going on.

Graded. Unendingly. Still haven't gotten to my own class's grades yet. Slight panic.

Thursday: Only day off. Threw some more stuff at the floor, messed up the desktop even more and spent much of the day (you know what's coming up by now) grading. Still not even half-way done for the graduate class. Panic increased.

Decided to quell disaster by wandering off to the Verizon Centre to watch the Caps. It was "Student Rush" day (hence cheap tickets) but the Caps lost (as they tend to do when I watch). Displeased.

More grading. More last-minute lecture-writing. Realised that "following the text book" would have made for a much easier class. Instead, read the articles on "Security on Film", cobbled together a quick lecture (with a few pictures) and started off class discussion with this question:

"Why are we quite happy to celebrate the Dalai Lama and give him medals while worrying about Islamic theocracies?"

Got dirty looks for being a Conservative nutter type. Was informed the DL was "all about peace" and "looked harmless" (good way to get into issues of representation here)

Then, asked them whether the US would see it as a security threat if Gov. Arnold decided that California should secede from the United States and then establish his own "Terminatorland" where everyone would have to follow some odd religion*. Got them to think about this for a while...then discussed representations and contexts.

Finished up with a (slightly militant) commentary on representations replicating power relations in the world. Talked about the film Bridge on the River Kwai (which was mentioned in their reading) and about media ownership (Rupert Murdoch).

Not quite sure how all this went--was too tired to think. Went home, graded some more.

Blogged. Just to show how incredibly dreary and without-much-spare-time the life of a postgrad student/teacher is.

* One student yelled out "Jedi" at this point--led to another tangent about quite a lot of people picking "Jedi" as their religion in the last British census and speculation about the outcome of a fight between the Terminator and a Jedi.

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