If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 12 October 2009

Visiting Lecturer - at a University, cor blimey

Blogging has been light-to-non-existent over the weekend, for which I apologise. Work was pretty manic last week, and then this weekend I have been busy. Not just the usual, shopping, cutting the grass, concreting the kitchen floor, usual stuff, but Lesson Preparation.

I have been asked to fill in as a Visiting Lecturer at a nearby University. Someone was due to deliver a course for them in the new term, but let them down at the last minute, and my name was mentioned by an ex-colleague (to whom I owe a large drink) and I was bustled in to plug the gap. It's only two hours a week, and for 15 weeks total, but it fits in well with my free day from my usual employer, and it's a foot in the door to get back into the teaching/training/lecturing that is what I do best. Just a thought: I'm paid for two hours. The hourly rate is £40, so that's £80 a session. Sounds good. Take off the income tax, and that's about £60. The Uni don't pay travel costs, and petrol is about £15. So that's £45. The Uni is 60 miles away, and I am away from home for 5½ hours; also, I must have done at least another 5½ hours preparing for the lecture. Divide by the number of hours I am spending on it, and that's £4.09 per hour. It's not worth it financially, in all honesty. But if it gets my toe in the door, and leads to more work of this kind, it will be. Even a bit of recent teaching/lecturing experience on the old CV will be an advantage.

Havng been a 'teacher' for many years, I always felt that those who could style themselves 'lecturer' were just a tiny bit further up the pecking order than humble 'teachers'. And proper 'University lecturers' were higher still. Well, now I can technically call myself a University lecturer. I might be part-time and temporary. The University in question might be a recently-upgraded Technical Institute. But it is a University. And I am lecturing there. I wonder if I should start calling myself 'Professor' when I am booking a table in a restaurant?

I started last week, and the whole thing went reasonably well. The students were OK with me, the rest of the staff seem fairly human, and I am looking forward to the rest of the 'semester', as I am learning to call it.

Today's catalogue of irritations will be the subject of a separate post.

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