2002-12-10 Toronto

Well, My last exam was on Dec 8th, and the Exam that I had to invigilate was on the 17th. That sort of sucked, unless I made a quick trip to Europe as is the norm. Well, the time period wasn’t that long, and the airfares not to friendly, at least not in comparison to the $1 fare I managed to find for a flight to Toronto. Made a week long trip to go up to the farm and cut down a tree (the best one yet! See the photo) and do the house decorating and all the other Christmas stuff.

2002-12-16 Vancouver

Had to come back out to Vancouver to invigilate the exam for my TA class. It was a fairly simple task. Sit at the front and watch the students. Maybe do a little bit of the crossword. Things were going as expected until Jonquille asked me if I thought anyone was cheating. There was one student who I thought could be looking at another student’s work, but this is a primarily essay based exam, it wouldn’t help too much. Jonquille, however, was thinking of a different student, and so I looked at him as well, and yes it was a bit suspicious. He was holding one-side of the exam booklet vertical and checking something on his desk. It could have been his exam question sheet, but he was doing it an awful lot.

It took as an hour of speculation and observation to finally resolve the situation. No one wanted to catch anyone cheating, nor did we ant anyone to cheat, so we (or at least I) glared at him. Put the pressure on. But this didn’t stop his behaviour. Either he was innocent or very desperate to cheat. So Jonquille and I took positions at the top of the classroom, and since it was angled down, we could see most of the students. However the suspect was right up against the wall (guilt by location?) and so that didn’t work. Jonquille and I returned the front of the classroom.

I watched him some more and then at one point, with about 45 minutes to go I walked up to the top of the classroom circled round the back and came back down. On the trip up I saw a little piece of paper on his desk that was not the size of the exam or the question sheet. I told Jonquille, and she immediately walked back up and cool as ice and vey quietly asked him to lift his exam. She asked for the piece of paper that was underneath and returned to the front of the classroom. The student looked petrified and did nothing but stare at us at the front of the classroom. The exam ended, all the students left and he came foreward. It was at this point we told Prof. Paterson what had happened. Prof. Paterson was surprisingly calm, if displeased, and told the student his rights. Whatever happens it is a fate worse than zero, which is the worst that the student could have done if he had written the exam honestly.

After the exam there was a couple days spent marking, and then it was time to head on home.

2002-12-23 Toronto

A good Christmas in Toronto. A nice blanket of snow covered the city Christmas morning. Finally a white Christmas! The festivities were very much the same as in every year, which suits me just fine! Christmas is always great at home.

For New Years I went to Granddad and Phyllis’s for their New Year’s bridge party. I was a few decades younger than the average guest, and the party was not as racaus as most, but there was a lot of fun bridge, and it was one of the best New Year’s I’ve had.


Vancouver 2003-01-25

Returned to Vancouver a second semester of economics. Much better than the last, however it looks as if I will be going to law school in the fall.

Robbie Burns Day featured a lovely meal made by Rita and Scotch provided by Stu. My oh my, that was a lot of scotch. I’m looking forward to Lent and the absence of alcohol (and chocolate.)

London 2003-02-14

Back to Heathrow, but no for long. The excitement of the previous days was a threat of a surface-to-air missile attack. I arrived one day too late to see the tanks. I did look for them, but only saw Jeeps and APC. There was a bomb scare that evacuated terminal 2, but I was flying in at 3 and out of 1, so it didn’t affect me. Ah, lovely, Heathrow.

Keele 2003-02-14

Arrived at Keele after a little confusion at the Crewe Bus Stop. Found Katrin’s flat easily enough and settled down to tomato and English cheddar sandwiches on Allison’s wholemeal bread, and a whole bunch of catching up. Had a grand time in the evening, and then we headed out to the Union at about 11pm. Sigh…it was exactly as it always was, regardless of whatever cosmetic changes. It was Valentine’s Day and that meant shag tag. Everyone got numbers and a big screen displayed the messages people wrote to each other. I don’t know if any of them were censured. It didn’t look like it…

The next day, Katrin had to do some work, so after the Man U-Arsenal game I went for chips and cheese and a newspaper. Then to Hanley, Stoke and Newcastle. Just exploring…it was if I had never left…strange, nostalgia isn’t quite time travel…but it certainly breeds delusion.

Katrin met me in Newcastle and we went to Shalimar. Gone was the tattered décor and the BYOB. They had developed the second story and installed a big bar. But the food was as fabulous as always, and the Naan…..massive. It was grand.

Stratford 2003-02-16

Headed down to Stratford from Crewe. A lovely weekend of just usual Stratford things. Went to the butterfly farm (the leaf cutter ants were the best) and enjoyed the fairly mild weather. Even managed to kick the football around a bit.

London 2003-02-19

A day in London in the bitter cold. Still great fun to wander around. The congestion charges were just two days old, and everything as quieter, even the tube in mid-day. Pretty much saw everything if just quick and fleeting (such is my life). Did go to the Bank of England Museum (hurrah!), the Tate Modern and went and checked out the almost completed "Erotic Gherkin" in the City. London is just one of those cities that I have passed through so often and feels so familiar that I almost think I am experiencing everyday life, and that I am always on the verge of just heading home to my little apartment. But as it often is, my accommodation was the overnight bus to Paris. At the coach terminal my favourite song from Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armanico played over the loud speakers. A very rare occurrence!