Monday, 18 January 2010


I am currently sinking in the knowledge that it's very likely I shall not get a 2:1 (upper 2nd) in my course on Britain in the 14th and 15th centuries. The course leader, who is also my lecturer and seminar tutor is an utterly... well he isn't uninspiring. Oh no. He inspires cynicism, depression, anger and mild fear. He is harsh on his students, he doesn't like working to departmental deadlines or rules and is constantly in breach of contract. He is big-headed, he dislike students asking questions, and generally refuses to help past saying "A good student gets good marks, a bad student gets bad marks" - Santa Claus he bloody well isn't.

Every two weeks, about 11 of us have to sit in his office, awaiting for a golf ball to allow us to speak (they're numbered, and drawn randomly. I am always last) about the topic of the week, what we have read, our opinions, and generally show off our limited knowledge on the subject. Fortunately, Grant has a rant for about 5-8 minutes at the start, does the register, banters with the retired Judge that is doing this course recreationally, and does end up doing most of the talking, but goodness. The course is so boring. If it weren't for the knowledge he'd probably fail me for handing in the essay late, even if I had an extension, rather than knock of 10 marks (actually, that probably would fail me, anyway, by his marking) I wouldn't bother at all.

I am paying about £1500 a year to sit in a stuffy, dimly lit lecture theatre 2 hours a week, listening to him read the lecture which he has lovingly typed up and photocopied and handed out to us anyway. However to get the sheet you have to turn up. I'm missing about... 5? I don't know. I might ask him for the last two or so, tell him I was looking through my stuff and found them missing.
He'd probably tell me how if I were doing a course in the days that he did, I wouldn't just have an essay a week, I'd not get given these notes - well thank god, cause I do a lot better writing out things in lectures than I do trying desperately not to nod off in the front row, reading the sheet along with him. I need to buy a new notepad specially for his course, just to write out all the sheets for revision later, and to make sure it's all ordered and organised.

My other lecturers are enthusiastic, engaging and those that use powerpoints often have a lot more to say than is written on the powerpoint, and the one that doesn't use a powerpoint gives us a lecture plan, which we can annotate as we go, giving our notes structure, if we like. Sometimes we get special handouts for extended reading.

This man, though, is the biggest waste of my time and money. I stressed over HIS essay, only. Purely because of the rules he'd laid down for essay format and content. I was scared about plagiarism. But other lecturers in the department reassured me - yes, I had to talk to another lecturer about it, purely cause he was bloody scary. You should have seen the email Grant had sent out to us towards the end of term, bitching to us about  how he has every right to make these rules blah blah. Git.
We all put blood and sweat and tears (mostly tears) into the essays, handed them in on time, and what? He hasn't read them. He doesn't see why he should stick to the deadline for marking - he's got far better things to do. Well. I'd LOVE to use that excuse, but I imagine he'd devour me in a similar way ''man-eating tigers'' would.

I don't think he has any friends on the department. He keeps telling them all to "piss off" (his words) whenever they tell him to do something, or remind him about his contract.
Whatever he does for the department had better be AMAZING, cause anybody else would have been utterly sacked by now.

I wanted to do my special subject on The Princes In The Tower, next year, but it turns out Grant is the specialist. Fine. I love that subject, at least, so maybe it won't be boring, and perhaps he'll like me just cause I chose *his* subject (yes, he's a big Scottish ego). I'll see how my essay's marked, before I make a final decision to look into the other special subject courses. :(

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