Wednesday, 22 June 2011
This is the last stop, the emptiest platform
'What I could have done is what I should have done', as Keris laments. And, to a point, this was practiced and preached, it really was. We all did it. There have been some sterling individual and collective efforts over the last month or so. And yet, despite the blood, sweat and tears (shed whilst we marked exam papers and attended exam boards) the consultation proposals across all four subject areas remain solidly unchanged in both form and substance, but just slightly more condescending in their tone, presentation and delivery. And so, later today, Senate decides our fate at 2pm. What will come next I wonder? Job interview hair cuts, CV updates and a new suit from Ebay? Another move, another train, somewhere South, most likely. Everybody leaving. Or staying. Who the fuck knows, really. This does now feel like the end of something though, even if certain things might remain in place (a technical aside: Sociology has a wee 'hook' of 'reconfiguration' into a Social Policy 'pathway', but we still don't really know what this means and whether or not it leads, directly or indirectly, to a salary, a P45 or whatever else). I think what has vanished, you know, weeks ago, is the spirit and feeling - it has drifted, the willingness; an attachment to an institution, a set of people, you wanted to believe in. As a colleague from another subject area wrote to me yesterday, when news got out: 'Aye Colin. The truth is that I am so disgusted with them that I didn't dare come in today.... because I knew I would let fly. If I could find any of them, that is. I've done it before - let fly - and, you'll never guess, it doesn't turn them into better people, doesn't make me a better person - it just gives them ammunition against you, confirms me as an equal part of their pathology , who'd have thought it? Cunts.' For context, the person was writing about his School colleagues who chose not to put their name to a Trade Union Senate motion calling for an extension to the consultation period and a withdrawal of the proposals, as they are currently configured. I don't think I can add more to this sentiment, except to say I was very glad to read it. Thanks J. But, in closing, and being optimistic old (very old) me, in a Voxtrot way, I should say that this is also, perhaps, the start of something as well. A new adventure into uncertainty, one that is rather tense and unsure, yes indeed. But I cannot deny it: I can't help but feel (almost) slightly excited about all this, a tingle or two. Is that strange? Yes, it is all rather vulnerable, nervous and unsure, absolutely, at the thought of the very worst possible outcomes possibly occuring.... but, I mean, an uncertain adventure is still an adventure, right? That has to count for something. It's the silver lining I'm holding onto, anyway. There has to be something to hold onto, someone...
Harper Lee - 'Train not stopping' (4.13)
A fast train, and a slow coach... with a book's hidden author. And this as a soundtrack, of sorts.