Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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A pointless journey

This morning I drove a hundred miles to not do a tutorial. Grrrr!! So this means I get to write more trials and tribulations of an OU tutor.

Last time, if you recollect, I found the building locked as all courses had been cancelled, due to snow -- though no one in Bangor had bothered to inform Cardiff of this unilateral decision.

So it was with some trepidation that I pulled up and parked. But it looked OK, there were quite a few cars already in the car park. And yes indeed, the door was open! And facing me was the noticeboard, with lots of notices pointing people to various rooms where the MBA course were doing things. One notice pointed to D1.7, which is my room for the tutorial. But these notices refer to something that happened last week, right? Wrong... On investigating my room, I found some sort of class already in full swing.

I had arrived with 20 minutes to spare; 20 minutes in which I planned to set up the laptop and quietly read through my lesson notes, preparing myself for the tutorial. Instead I first found the office organising the MBA activities, to be told that they'd booked these rooms last year and that they were occupying the whole building. I then scampered off to find a security chap, spotted one in the distance and managed to catch him up. He directed me to the porters' lodge in the main arts building. I found the main building swarming with Ramblers as the Ramblers' Association seemed to have some event on in that part of the college.

The porters were brilliant and after much head scratching, found a small room that we could use. So back I scampered to find my students. Now, I think I was back before 11.00 am and I had asked the MBA people to watch out for stray students and ask them to wait in the front hall for me, but when I got back, there was no sign of any of my students.

I waited. And I waited. After 15 minutes, I went and sat in the car and had a cup of tea from the flask I'd brought. At 11.25 I gave up and went home. So that was a 100 mile round trip for nothing.

Back home once more, after fiddling around for a bit and reading Usenet, I decided at quarter to 4 that I ought to go for my walk. I've been very remiss about my exercise for the last 3 or 4 weeks, so even though it was raining, I intended to do one of my 1 hour circuits. Except that once I got out, I felt like going further and ended up doing a 10 mile circuit.

It was strangely enjoyable at first, in that masochistic British way of being determined to have fun, whatever the weather. The rain pattered on my hood and the birds warbled in the trees. I strode briskly along, smelling the wet earth and new foliage. The trees were just coming into bud, the gorse was in bloom and I passed a tree entirely covered in round pale yellow catkins. Further on I saw delicate white flowers of the blackthorn on bare black twigs. I kept up a brisk pace until the last mile and a half when it turned into a head down determined trudge. By then I was soaked through, my hands were chilly in my squishy gloves and my trousers were wet to the thighs.

But after a hot bath, with a cup of tea and The Curse of Chalion to read followed by dinner, I felt restored (though sleepy now). Interstingly, it took me about 3 hours to drive 100 miles and about 3 hours to walk ten.

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