Monday, August 28, 2006

Dilemma, guilt etc

Of course, I should have expected that I'd be asked to continue teaching. I received a call this morning and the regular lecturer is unable to return for the next two classes which brings us up to the semester break. I took the teaching on in a moment of spontaneity and impulsiveness but was clear that I could do no more than three weeks of teaching. Now that the time has come to respond to the request to do more teaching, I feel terribly guilty. I don't want to let the students down but I really don't think I can manage more teaching. It's the preparation time involved in each class, particularly in the lecture. I've suggested that the Program Coordinator look for a guest lecturer for each of the two weeks remaining before the break. I hope this works out.

The readings for this week are Heidegger's, "The Question Concerning Technology" and Paul Virilio's "The Information Bomb". I was hoping to get on to looking at some more recent theories of technology and society like social constructivism/social shaping. I think there is too much weight on the substantive theory. However, the case study of the smart card that I introduced last week stimulated many interesting questions, not least, the notion that the smart card is not necessarily something that is pre-determined and inevitable. This leads directly to a consideration of the social constuctivist aspect of technology. Perhaps I'll start off with this in my lecture tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Culture and Technology"

I returned from Melbourne to be swept up with teaching a course at UTS called "Culture and Technology". Haven't had time to scratch myself. Just before flying down to Melbourne, the Program Coordinator of Writing and Cultural Studies at UTS rang me to request that I take this course for three weeks. The regular lecturer had received news about a family tragedy and had to drop everything and go. Crazily, I said yes and within a few days of returning from Melbourne found myself teaching this course. I've really enjoyed the class, and it's a great program. It's probably the main reason I agreed to take it. I looked at the outline and thought "I'd like to take a course like that". It's been great but I've spent a lot of time preparing for the classes. I have one class to go. Last week was on cyborgs, this week on Foucault and Crary, next week on Heidegger. I'm going to feel sad saying goodbye to the students so quickly. I feel very fondly towards them and I've only been teaching them for two weeks.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Best dumpling noodle soup ever!

I just had the most delicious dumpling noodle soup in a little side alley off the main drag of Chinatown in Melbourne, aka Little Bourke St. I arrived just in time. It was packed but there were little odd spots for single noodlers to squeeze into. By the time I left, there was a queue of hungry looking after workers snaking out the door and around the corner. The dumplings were mushroom and vegetable. I'm vegie and always in search of interesting and tasty vegie meals. They were devine. Best dumplings. Did I say they were good? They were superb and obviously a Melbourne secret.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Flying down to Melbourne tomorrow to start the fieldwork on my second case study. I'm staying there for two days and flying back on Friday evening. So much going on at the moment on various fronts. Also have family visiting from Israel at the moment and this weekend is packed with social activities. I don't know whether I feel prepared for Melbourne or not. In some ways I feel less nervous because I've notched up quite a bit of experience now conducting interviews. However, I don't really know how compatible my tools; interview questions and diary etc, are for this particular organisation. I've tried to design them generically enough to work for both organisations but I'm not sure...

I finally managed to send off my 8 page summary to the AOIR conference organisers for the Doctoral Colloquium. My understanding is that these will be distributed to the other students participating in the Colloquium. I really need to start drafting the paper for the conference.