A real bargain?

8 07 2006

Have been looking for a CD copy of an album I used to have on vinyl many years ago. Having checked periodically on Amazon, I suddenly found it available – imagine my excitement at seeing it offered at a “low price”.

GAOB low price

I think this is stretching the definition of “low” somewhat.

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AC21 – more on day 2 and through to day 3

8 07 2006

Follow-up to AC21 – Day 2 (and it’s raining again) from Prole Art Threat

Day 2 concluded wonderfully with excellent session on autonomy v accountabilty in HE from Nigel Norris and a sale of my book (every one counts!).

Day 3 just as good with first rate presentations from John Field, Ron Barnett and Nick Barr, all followed by a really good dinner.

I do wonder though about the description of the menu as featuring highlights from the cuisine of the West Midlands – still sounds strange.





The end of a National Learning Grid?

5 07 2006

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5145882.stm

I’d forgotten about this particular educational initiative. Notable for two reasons:

– it is always difficult to kill things off but right to do it sometimes (although suspect it was years overdue)

– I was distracted by the headline – the idea of a Warwick–style Learning Grid but on a national scale just struck me as bizarre.





AC21 – Day 2 (and it’s raining again)

5 07 2006

Follow-up to AC21 from Prole Art Threat

OK, so yesterday afternoon, following the opening of the conference, we had two really rather good sessions on the Leadership and Management strand. First up were Ewart Wooldridge (Leadership Foundation) and Jon Baldwin on leadership in HE. Best bit was a very apposite quote from Adlai Stevenson (which I had not heard before):

It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.

After that we had Lars Ekholm on the Scandinavian experience of academic leadership – very interesting stuff.

First session this morning – Strategic Management in times of uncertainty – was delivered, with some style as ever, by Mike Shattock. A very helpful reminder of the way we do things here…or at least try to.





Accidentally on purpose

4 07 2006

Book front cover

Title:
The Accidental
Author:
Ali Smith
ISBN:
0141010398
Rating:
2 out of 5 stars

Family on a break at a Norfolk cottage are visited by Amber, a bizarre individual who invades their lives, shakes them all up and then leaves, leaving them in fragments.

Nice premise, well written, entertaining in some parts, insightful narrative and some great characterisation but ultimately unsatisfactory I felt. The switch of perspectives is at times irritating but nevertheless, for some of the characters, it does work quite well.

But, overall, just doesn’t quite cut if for me.





AC21

4 07 2006

It’s all a bit blurred (already) but opening session of the AC21 International Forum here at Warwick has gone extremely well. A really stimulating and insightful presentation by Georges Haddad of Unesco has got us off to a flyer!

The photo – apologies, it’s appalling – is of President Hirano of Nagoya University, delivering his opening remarks.

AC21





A truly exceptional work

2 07 2006

Book front cover

Follow-up to Incomparable from Prole Art Threat

Title:
The Rings of Saturn: An English Pilgrimage (Panther)
Author:
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
ISBN:
1860466095
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

As with Sebald’s other works, this is just an absolutely first rate piece of writing – both particular and world–encompassing, it is both a real and intellectual travelogue. The Amazon review, see:

link

captures it rather neatly I think (although they do seem to have the wrong sleeve shot!) but it is a tough book to do justice to in a pithy review.

Anyway, do read it – the translation seems to me to be superb in capturing the magic of the ideas in a powerful, almost poetic, manner.

And then you can read his others too – it is so sad that there won’t be any more. But what a body of work to leave!








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