Sunday, February 15, 2009

Internet gambling

I've just settled down to mark some homework essays, yet I find myself spending more time on the web than at my desk. Not out of procrastination, but because some of the writing is suspiciously good. A quick search for a phrase on Google usually confirms said suspicions.

If you are a student and happen to read these lines, heed this warning: If you are a RHINO¹ in class and you suddenly turn in an impeccable essay with perfect spelling and grammar, alarm bells will ring². And if you can find it on Google, so can I. Just because I'm over 25 doesn't mean I don't know how to use the Internet. If you're going to plagiarise, for crying out loud, do it properly. Especially if you're studying for a Masters.

1. Really Here In Name Only
2. This applies even if the essay is hand-written. How stupid do you think I am?

Friday, February 13, 2009

The heat is on

The university where I work is a new one which opened in the early 90s. So from a distance it looks like a bright, modern, glass building. On closer inspection, you see that the façade is covered with netting to stop bits of it falling off and killing passers by. No, really.

Where they really excelled, however, was when the architect designed the building with lots of huge windows. Of course, he had the sense to include air conditioning to keep us cool inside. Unfortunately, they ran out of money during construction and the air conditioning  never got put in. So at the first hint of sunshine, it's like teaching in a greenhouse, even in February. Did I mention that some of the rooms don't even have curtains? And on the fifth floor, you can't open the windows more than a crack in case someone falls out.

This would be fine if we taught horticultural studies or used our offices to grow tomatoes or hash plants, though judging by the long queues of students outside some people's offices, I wonder if that isn't what they're doing. In the meantime, the only way to survive it to wear lots of layers so as not to freeze on the way to work, but still be able to remove a few indoors and still look decent.

I know everyone has it in for bankers at the moment, but why do architects seem to get off scot free?