Pearls Before Swine and Prima Donnas

In the previous post is a course map for one of the half a dozen or so courses joining together UK Doctoral Training Centres which I wrote, prepared and directed. The courses were thematically and geographically linked. The Scottish DTCs were always better behaved than the English ones. The engineers were very good additions to each team. They always got stuck in.

For a larger group with four tutor groups the timings are best to be precise. I never over ran.

It is possible that other people have taken credit for bringing the DTCs together. In reality it was me.

Anyone using my intellectual property without explicit permission is pushing the boundaries of legality. Cut and paste is still cut and paste.

The degree of planning so that a course is simple and goes like clockwork is extensive.

In 2008 two courses after this one, a course imploded on me.

I thought foxtrot this for a game of soldiers…Bye…

The decline started when someone, for the next course, without asking me gave permission for a student to join the course and then leave it for a student union meeting back in London. A residential course has to be residential. One cannot allow exceptions as that then is the thin end of the wedge…

It truly messes up the dynamics.

Prima donnas will always try to bend the rules and even imagine they are above such things.

In putting my foot down, they had to rearrange their travel and the course started on a bad note.

It was very impolite of whoever authorised the student not to check with me first. They screwed the course up.

I was always happy to accommodate sensible in course requests. In the Scotland course there was an ENTJ Muslim woman in full kit who needed a room to pray in. I had a good discussion about leadership with her and she proved on the course to be a good one.

Because I was no longer an academic people did not behave all that well. When someone in their twenties with little life experience thinks they know better than you and says so, it is clearly a case of pearls before swine.

On the course that imploded I got my best ever feedback:

“Alan’s ability to always find a positive in every situation got to be a bit waring.”

It became obvious to me that because I had renounced an academic position which many of them were perhaps seeking, me giving these courses was simply a non sequitur.

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