The Spirit of the Age?

I’ve just spent a while creating a blog post for my official uni blog only to find that the ability to embed YouTube is not enabled on the site 🙁 I was already grumbly and mumbling about corporate capitalists and that just epitomised everything that was making me grumpy, but it’s Saturday night, pizza is being made and I am not going to spend the rest of the evening annoyed so I’ll reproduce my post here:

It’s my final weekend off before going back to work on Monday after five weeks off and, as usual, I have left my marking till the last minute.  I marked a few earlier, took a wee break to look at Twitter and this article by TES popped up.  Having just struggled to decipher a particularly scrawly script, I was muttering to myself about the ridiculousness of hand written exams in the 21st century, but not for the reasons stated in this article (one of which is to ensure students can use a computer).  I’m getting more and more annoyed about the emphasis put on “graduate attributes” and “employability”, and finding it hard to articulate my concern without appearing elitist, but I do not think that universities have a duty to employers to turn out perfectly trained clones and I think that this is getting missed in the rhetoric.  I’m not saying that universities shouldn’t help to prepare students for life after university, but any expectation (by employers) that HE will provide all the training needed as well as the education should be challenged, as should the idea that politicians and employers should have a say in how and what we are teaching.  As ever, when I think about these issues, Hawkwind’s Spirit of the Age is playing in my head.

It’s all wonderful, but this is the most relevant part for me:

I am a clone, I am not alone
Every fibre of my flesh and bone is identical to the others
Everything I say is in the same tone
as my test tube brother’s voice
There is no choice between us,
If you had ever seen us,
You’d rejoice in your uniqueness
and consider every weakness something special of your own
Being a clone, I have no flaws to identify
Even this doggerel that pours from my pen,
has just been written by another twenty telepathic men

Image by: By Bill Ebbesen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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