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(no subject) [Jun. 15th, 2010|01:41 pm]
Dearest intertubes,

I'm currently revamping my CV from a teaching-specific to a general one in the hunt for tasty, generic graduate work. In the course of this, I am intending on uploading the CV-beast to a recruitment agency or three. Given that covering letters are not a possibility in this case, I wondered if it was worth having a ~100 personal statement at the top of the CV saying who and what I am. Is this good practise, or just plain silly?

If someone would be happy to proof-read the CV that would be lovely as well. Dan needs a job relatively soon, even if 'tis not a teaching one.

Thanks in advance,
(Jon: Covering letter is nearly finished for MBI - it has been a busy period lately, but it is getting there along with said revision of CV.)
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New plans. Ideas. Shinies. [Jun. 8th, 2010|12:43 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |School]
[Current Mood |optimisticoptimistic]

So, not that long ago, I taught a lesson for one of my assessment points whilst being observed by someone from the university department. It involved an application of Hume's critique of miracls to a fictional narrative. A narrative involving sentient cake, a recurrant kleptomaniac cake-lover called Timmy and God owning a bakery. The 6th form loved it. My mentor / the teacher claimed that if it was fancied up a little bit it might have been something of publishable quality. Which leads me to think: So what if I spend time making more of these? What if I put real time and effort into things? It could make philosophy accessible. Relevant. Teach thinking skills. Teach argument and evaluative skills. Even just convey basic factual data in a way that makes it relevant, linked to other contexts and spaces where it comes alive and has purpose. The Ontological argument could be properly demonstrated, its reasoning inductively unpicked and poked and prodded.

Then I read Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture , which had a wonderful analysis of the power of collective knowledge in contemporary media. In particular, I was excited by the idea of transmedia storytelling. So I went on to study narratology, albeit briefly. I came to the conclusion that transmedia narratives could use everything here. Concepts and ideas woven into a fictive narrative space, linked to constant characters, environments and worlds. It crystallizes the abstract and lets students play with it. And the pretty thing about narrative theory (And the subsequent narrative pedagogy I'm building) is that it can be applied to any medium, any technology and be enhanced by it. Utilise it. So resources could be made to teach concepts, facts, skills, revise - anything and everything. Although hardly intended to be my or anyone else's sole teaching resource or dominant mode of practise, I think it could be something fascinating to explore and a powerful tool for learning.

I want to try and make some sexy resources to revitalise RE (Or, as I'd like to see it, Philosophy, Religion and Ethics). I want to do things across media. Thing that overlap, augment and supplement eachother. I want to produce films, games, video, interactive novels, roleplay, music - everything. So, that's what I'm going to try and do. Inevitably, I'll need a lot of help and will ask for it. Hell, people have already offered - and will quite likely be taken up on their offers once I've drafted my plans in more concrete terms.

But at the base of things, I think it stems from this: Religion doesn't have to be shit, scary or pointless. The concepts underlying it don't have to be meaningless abstractions. Too many text-books, resources and government ideologies seem to imply it. Society at large only sees the shit bits. Yes, aspects of religion are oppressive and hideous. But other aspects are exciting and stimulating - and still somehow incredibly relevant. And I intend to prove that.
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(no subject) [Mar. 21st, 2010|09:36 am]
This is a little perturbing. I feel fine, but when I've started doing some work this morning my body appears to have gone funny and starting shaking and twitching a bit. Holding my hands out results in them trembling. Jaw twitches a bit, as with a few muscles around my eyes. Nothing big, just little twinges. But still, a little perturbing. I watched buffy happily with Helen for a bit earlier and felt fine - a little washed out as you usually do on a Sunday morning, but nothing worse.

I was doing this yesterday as well when I was trying to approach all the school related things. Hmmm. I'm not entirely sure what to do now. Will knuckle on and continue, but remain confused. On the bright side, I go to Italy for a few days in a fortnight, so that will be lovely. Although perhaps flying into Rome on easter Sunday is a bit of a suicidal idea.... I'm sure it'll be a interesting if nothing else. I just need to try and find some exciting catholic paraphernalia to bring back for RE purposes too :D
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(no subject) [Nov. 6th, 2009|02:29 am]
It is done!

After 18 hours of writing I have finished the assignment. And it is possibly slightly better than mediocre and I still don't understand the harvard referencing system. But it is done. I have a thing I can hand in.

5,088 words.
1 lesson plan.
1 handout.
A poem by osama bin laden and a youtube clip about Jihad that acutally gives a moderate, sensible and contrasting opinion.

I am going to bed now. Then I am going to wake up and hand this in and then sleep again.

And there was me thinking that I'd left the days of essay crises well behind.
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(no subject) [Jun. 10th, 2009|10:17 am]
Somehow, it's over. I finished, was met by lots of lovely people, got very drunk, danced a bit and came home. The hangover is mostly gone and I still have lots of glittery, goth-piratey goodness all over my face.

I am free. Life is good. I shall spend the remainder of the morning watching Hellsing and South Park and possibly start a new game on Final Fantasy X. Yes.

Anyone at a loose end today, please do come by for tea any time today. BBQ will likely be an oven instead, given the weather, but a party / gathering shall there be nonetheless this evening. It seems to be rather ill-timed, but no matter. I'm off to return to freedom and trying to figure out what to do with it.
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(no subject) [May. 7th, 2009|09:39 pm]


Urge to rewatch all of firefly now.

Finishing essay plan on reformed epistemology. I don't have scores of quotes and thinkers at my back, but I think it's actually okay and I might be able to answer it, even if it is quite limited. Should be a low-mid 2/1 type of answer.

Will do another, then sleep. Continuous revision of random topics continues, PGCE interviews are done - went relatively well. Interviewers seemed a mix of interested, confused and slightly taken aback at being talked to about the existential and philosophical dimensions of teaching. They seemed to like it though.
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(no subject) [Mar. 22nd, 2009|01:25 pm]
Reviewing Theos report on Faith and Evolution for the interview tomorrow. Belief is broadly divided into 4 categories; Atheistic Evolution, Theistic Evolution, Intelligent Design and Young Earth Creationism.

Atheistic Evolution is described as the following:

"Atheistic Evolution is the idea that evolution makes
belief in God unnecessary and absurd."

Does this stick in anyone else's craw as much as it does mine? The other definitions seem good enough. Granted, quantitative research is always going to be a very difficult enterprise and some questions will be too narrow, but this seems to be on completely the other side of shit and fail.
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(no subject) [Mar. 6th, 2009|02:32 pm]
[Current Mood |awakeawake]

Sent off the application for Theos. Fingers crossed. Also, got an interview for a summer teaching scheme next week, which should help with cashflow in the short-term. Hopefully that'll come through.

In other news, the PGCE course at King's College London was full before they got my application. This is sad, because I really wanted to study there. They actually have awesome libraries and theology as well as just a department of education. Hopefully the Institute of Education in London will take me on next year. I'm consigned to the idea that I don't really give a fuck about the accountancy jobs; I'm not a city boy. End of. I'm hoping that if the things with Theos pan out well, I might be able to try and ask for a full time job there as a researcher or something. Or look at their affiliates and spam them for work. Failing that, the PGCE should be an option. I guess I'll worry about careers and life more once finals are over.

That said, sanity levels are quite high at the moment. The past few days I've been coldified and forced to slow down because of it, which was probably good for me. Although now I have two days to learn my lines and two essays to do by Friday of next week, one of which is worth 25% of a module. Eh, I've worked to tighter deadlines. It'll be fiiiiine.

Also, the Ginistry is currently a lie, for we have no Gin. Or indeed, cake. Sadness ensues. We are also out of bagels. Dark times indeed.

On with some work then, methinks.

Peace to all,
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Finals. Vitriol. Rage at insipid wanna-be student journalists [Feb. 2nd, 2009|10:58 am]
[Current Mood |angryangry]

Warning. Neurotic, finals-panic filled rage ahead. Read rant at your own risk.


So, just because Regents doesn't own half of Yorkshire and can't afford to piss champagne down it's undergrad's throats means that they're all idiots, does it? I'm sorry, I managed to forget that your intelligence and worth as a human being was intrinsically linked to the size of your wallet and the depth of your self-involvement. I take it our finals papers are marked in a special pile labelled 'PPHs - be nice!' and nudged up a few percent just so that our poor little impoverished egos don't wither and die. Yeah, sometimes my quality of tuition hasn't been great. That's true. My tute partner wastes half of my tutorial by talking about cricket and saying how well my tutor has aged between casually racist remarks. If he kissed any more arse he'd actually end up with his head somewhere in our tutor's colon if I didn't insist on, oh, wanting to fucking about theology so I can feel like I'm going to be prepared for my hardest module.

But, no. We're not all idiots. We're not all homophobic religious nuts. We're the same as the other students and our exams are marked in the same system. If I balls up and get a shit grade, then it'll have been because I didn't work hard enough or because I burnt out. But it won't be because I don't deserve to be here - or because I was craven enough to sneak in through some back door. I'm not here to network and make contacts, I'm here because Regents is one of the best places to study Theology in Oxford and I love my subject. I will not be told that this year, that the stress I've been through, that the difficulty of this past two and a half years has been somehow less meaningful or valuable because of the circumstances that I learnt in. Usually we put up with the crap, but not this year. So, Cherwell journalist and others that sneer at PPH-goers: Fuck. You. Fuck the spineless, simpering lot of you.

*Dislaimer: I get the irony of a middle-class, straight, white male bitching about prejudice or discrimination. There are worse problems in the world, and lots of real discrimination that matters much more in actual terms. I am aware of this. At current, however, I feel entitled to 3 months of self-involved finals!wank until the damn things are over, because I've got to do what I can to survive the crazy without actually doing bad things. I'll engage with the real world again then and probably be less angry and twitchy later. Honest.
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(no subject) [Jan. 3rd, 2009|06:05 pm]
So, thoughts on Matt Smith?
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