Tuesday, 17 November 2009

It gets worse before it gets better

I awake Monday morning, 6.30 a.m., and blearily descend the stairs to find a small pool of water collecting in the corner of the living room, beneath the bathroom. Looking up, there is a distinct bulging in the ceiling above. I put a bowl underneath the drips, alert poor Mr A to the situation, and bugger off to school. We are taught a great deal about cancer. One student, in tears, has to leave the class.

I phone home - Mr A reports that the plumbers have fixed the leak, the heating downstairs is working, and hot water is mostly flowing from the hot taps once more.

I meet with two others from the group I will be working with on the Ethics presentation, and talk about Anorexia Nervosa for a bit - we go and see the tutor, and discuss (among other things) what our options are if the other two people in the group, who have not been able to come to our planning meeting, fail to attend any more meetings. On the way home, I am contacted by another student who lets off steam about her Ethics group, which sounds as difficult as mine but in an entirely different way. It's another difficult day.

At home I greet Mr A with some relief, and we philosophically review the damage to the living room ceiling. We are not sure how fixing the leak cured any of the other problems, but since they are mostly cured, we will not tempt fate by questioning further until the plumbers visit us again to install the new bathroom radiator. Mr A attempts to run a bath, but the flow from the hot tap is so slow that he resorts to filling buckets with hot water in the kitchen and carrying them up to fill the bath. He is determined to have a bath. A small polystyrene ball emerges from the kitchen tap.

At the weekend we did manage to choose paint colours and tiles, which seems very optimistic given the amount of work still to take place before these can be applied. In addition to the restoration of a bath panel (this time removable), completion of the woodwork and skirting (this time under the direction of Mr A), further investigation of the hot water flow to the bathtaps, stripping and painting walls and ceiling and laying down the floor, we now have a hole in the living room ceiling to be fixed as well.


Anonymous said...

You've had a bit of a week!
Group work is hard - in respect of people not pulling their weight. I am surprised you are doing it at all in your third year when the mark is so important. Luckily I did none in my third year, but I know when I did do it I chose my group with care. It is much harder when you have no choice over your group members. I will be interested in what your lecturer has to say. There must be a system of marking to allow for/or penalise 'slackers' and reward those who work hard and produce the work.

Lola said...

This is a very interesting topic. The group work is marked so that there is an individual mark for the work done by each person, plus a mark for the group as a whole. We are also given the marking criteria, so we can see exactly how to maximise the group mark.

One of the other members of my Ethics group would probably admit she is not a team worker, and frequently rails against the marking of group work. She often goes on about how it is unjust that her marks are brought down by other people in the group.

She did it again while we were with our tutor, who responded very gracefully that while she can appreciate that marks are important, alongside our gaining a degree they are also trying to make us into dietitians. One of the most important qualities of a good dietitian is the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team, in which there is bound to be a variety of backgrounds, skill levels and commitment to the tasks in hand.

Brett said...

sounds like a big job.

Caz said...

Oh no - it never rains, it pours!!

aims said...

Catching up as I always seem to be doing -

Girl - what a mess! I had a ceiling that looked like that once after some work was done on my roof and they 'forgot' the flashings. Made my whole 'new' bathroom collapse and my dining room ceiling looks exactly like that.

Nowadays - when I'm doing all the work I just dread finding problems like that arising. I'm getting too old for it!

Wishing you much luck. And I did think your MTP topic was very interesting!

Anonymous said...

It's good that the marks are individual as well as joint - that is fairer than just a group mark.
I also see the lecturer's point about teamwork etc, however, and this is why I think it's unfair to have assessed group work in the final, most important year, you need to graduate with a good degree to get a post as a dietition - a poor group mark could, potentially, mean the difference between a 1st & a 2.1! Have group work, but in the final year have it as unassessed or informal: grade it, but don't make the grade count towards the final degree classification.

That's my thoughts on it anyhow.