Thursday, 1 June 2006

end of semester

Yay for today being the last day of tutorials and thus the last trip to Mildura until next semester. I'm tired out. And despite leaving my favourite jacket in an undisclosed Mildura location today I am still liking going there. For all the issues to do with resources and the strain of the travelling it really is a very interesting teaching experience. This semester the 2/3 years subject was about constructions of the Australian 'bush' and it was really a perfect thing to study in a place like Mildura where the students have masses of unique & specialised knowledge about discourses around agriculture, the Murray, settlement, town planning, land clearing and so on that they can put on the table. The first year course I enjoyed too but it was hard work sometimes. And the fortnightly double classes arrangement made for some extraordinary juxtapositions - one memorable marathon day a few weeks back I had sessions on works by Athol Fugard, Les Murray, Sharon Olds, Joseph Furphy and Robyn Davidson.

Next semester is going to be easier, in that I will go there weekly - no more of those grinding doubles - and harder in that I'm taking three courses instead of two. the first year subject I've taught three times already so it's not too bad. The other two I have not taught at all. One is about Greek tragedy, and the other is about narrative structure & technique with readings mostly about journeys and quests. So looking at the timetables just now there will be days when the poor old brain has to cope with the shite and smack and dead wee bairns of Trainspotting from 11 to 12, narratology and The Rings of Saturn12-2, and then a lovely long go at the Oresteia just to while away the hours between 2 and 4.

Though the original deal was that I'd do this for two years it looks as though I may get off the hook after second semester and do the remaining six months in Melbourne.

7 comments:

Another Outspoken Female said...

That schedule looks inhuman! Baz had better run you a nice hot bath and have dinner on the table each week when you get home :)

mark bahnisch said...

You could always amuse yourself by comparing the radically differing translations of the Oresteia in spare moments?

FXH said...

I used to have to drive to Mildura from a major regional for 4 years at least once a fortnight for 3 days or so 4 - 5 hours one way.

I often stayed at the Grand. It was the best place to meet random people for chatting to and had the grandest breakfast dining room.

But I really loved the hard competition by motels showing their price on the road in, bargains to be had during the week.

Mildura has a surprising number of ok eateries at night. Thee was a good only semi hippy vegetarian place out afew blocks up past the railway station. Sometimes I'd see a fillum by myself.

Last few times I 've been up there it was from Melbourne on a bland old flight up and back on the same day.

Lucy Tartan said...

I've never been anywhere except between the airport and the uni campus, which is on th eoutskirts of town. No, wait, I went to Stephano's cafe for lunch the first time.
Never stayed the night. Would really like to, some time.

Mark, thanks for that incredibly helpful suggestion.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I taught the Oresteia once in a Deakin course called Myth and Literature in Society, or was it Myth and Society in Literature, or maybe Society ... anyway, I found that once they get it, ie that it is about cycles of retribution and reconciliation, the students love talking about it and the teaching hours just fly by.

Are you up there any time around July 18-23 when the Mildura Writers' Festival is on?

Lucy Tartan said...

I want to go. We'll see. Are you going?

The festival is the weekend before the first teaching week and my classes are on Tuesdays, so maybe I can go up on Friday night and stay over.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Let me try that link again: Mildura Writers' Festival.

I'm not sure whether I'll make it as there are some dodgy family things happening. Do go if you can -- it's more fun than the city ones, with better weather, and some of the writers going are great value at festivals: Garner, Murray, Peter Rose and Barry Hill are all people who really care and think about audiences. It's one of the few gigs in Australia that Les Murray is happy to go to -- and hearing him read is a revelation, as someone at LP -- Naomi? or maybe Amanda from Flop Eared Mule -- said recently.