Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Mid Riff

We have thirteen teaching weeks per semester at Mine August Place of Employ, and as of yesterday, we're in Week Ten. Next week is Mid-Semester Break. Did you hear that? Mid-Semester Break. Next week. My question is: does "mid-semester" or does "mid-semester" not denote that portion of time in a semester so situated as to have an equal number of equal portions of time before and aft? I.e., in a world which took the word "mid-semester" seriously, in a world where the semester consisted of thirteen teaching weeks, would the mid-semester break fall somewhere about the sixthish (maybe seventhish) week or would it not? In a world where justice and compassion reign, would the Office Responsible for Scheduling Mid-Semester Breaks think it a very fine thing to subject browbeaten, grindstonenosed, wheelshouldered, elbowgreased, bestfootforwarded gentyll scholares to ten (TEN!) continuous weeks of unadulterated enclassroomination? I think not.

(Not that I'm exactly planning a jaunt to Barbados. A leisurely pootle through a forty centimetre high pile of essays should keep me on the straight and unCaribbean.)


Ampersand Duck said...

Blame the breeders. Apparently uni staff around the country complained heartily that the uni holidays didn't correspond in any way to the school holidays, so they changed the uni system to this weird long term/ short term thingy.

My uni thus sent a very snarky email to all its staff pretty much saying 'there you go, you got what you wanted, suffer in your jocks'.

As for the 13 weeks, blame the Olympics. They took a whole slab of time from the curriculum for the Sydney Olympics and never gave it back. I very happily blame the Olympics for all the world's evils, not just timetabling.

Mitzi G Burger said...

Aye, let the breeders be blamed. We Ten-Week Termers, who have triumphed and suffered in the teaching of the young, extend heartfelt compassion that you have to return to a perfunctory 3 week finale. If I had to suffer through Tennis Camp as a primary school kid and daughter of non-universitarian professionals, so too should the progeny of uni staff.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

This explains a bit; thanks, youse.

(N.B., some of my favourite parents are breeders.)