The Birds

Posted in Life on April 5th, 2020 by steve

“One of the far from unpleasant side-effects of the lockdown here in Maynooth is that you notice the birds much more. For one thing the marked decrease in traffic means that birdsong a lot more audible, which is very pleasant; for another, some otherwise rather shy species are to be seen out and about …” (more)

[In the Dark, 5 April]

Tags: ,

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Life on April 3rd, 2020 by steve

“Quite a few people have been asking me how the Maynooth University Library Cat is coping with the lockdown. I always visit him when I take the daily exercise (usually after lunch) allowed by the Covid-19 restrictions. I know that others are looking after him too so he’s doing well …” (more)

[In the Dark, 3 April]


Students: How has the Covid-19 crisis affected you?

Posted in Life on April 2nd, 2020 by steve

“Most colleges and universities have cancelled or postponed this summer’s exams and have moved their teaching programme online. However, this shift might not suit everyone. Some will not have access to broadband while others will miss the various resources usually available on campus. We want to hear from you about your experience …” (more)

[Irish Times, 2 April]


On Boredom

Posted in Life on April 1st, 2020 by steve

“During this time of isolation and social distancing I’ve noticed how many people are posting messages on social media about being bored. Conscious that I am in danger once again of being excluded from a popular cultural phenomenon I have been trying recently to join in this craze. Unfortunately whenever I try to experience a bit of boredom I find there is far too much to distract me …” (more)

[In the Dark, 1 April]

Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure

Posted in Life on March 31st, 2020 by steve

“Among my academic colleagues and friends, I have observed a common response to the continuing Covid-19 crisis. They are fighting valiantly for a sense of normalcy – hustling to move courses online, maintaining strict writing schedules, creating Montessori schools at their kitchen tables. They hope to buckle down for a short stint until things get back to normal. I wish anyone who pursues that path the very best of luck and health …” (more)

[Aisha S Ahmad, Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 March]


Experiences of an Irish University Library: My internship at Maynooth University

Posted in Life on March 30th, 2020 by steve

“I study in Leipzig in Western Saxony. That’s in Eastern Germany between Berlin and Munich. When I finished secondary school, I worked as a volunteer in a children’s library for one year. I really liked that and decided a library career was for me …” (more)

[Theres Rudolph, libfocus, 30 March]

Tags: ,

Life going on …

Posted in Life on March 26th, 2020 by steve

“I’ve had the feeling that this blog is in danger of turning into some sort of plague diary so I thought I’d pass on a couple of examples of life going on. It’s not quite business as usual, but there’s no point in us sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves …” (more)

[In the Dark, 26 March]

Tags: ,

Coronavirus: ‘The Irish Government takes care of people and hopefully that includes me’

Posted in Life on March 26th, 2020 by steve

“When Ella Klahr Bunnell moved from Boston to Belfast last September, she wasn’t nervous about living so far from her family. A recipient of a Mitchell scholarship to study on the island of Ireland, Bunnell had already spent five years as an undergraduate student at Stanford University …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 24 March]

Tags: ,

(University) Life During Wartime

Posted in Life on March 23rd, 2020 by steve

“Since everyone is using war metaphors to describe current efforts against COVID-19, I thought it might be worth taking a trip down memory lane to look at what universities did during the World Wars …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 23 March]

When Academic Work Occurs Only Through Our Computers

Posted in Life on March 23rd, 2020 by steve

“Until some indeterminate date, all of our academic work will take place on our computers. Think about that for a second. For those of us higher ed people who are working full-time at home due to COVID-19 restrictions on coming to campus, all of our work will be digital …” (more)

[Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, 22 March]


5 tips for third-level students working from home

Posted in Life, Teaching on March 19th, 2020 by steve

“Last week, there were mixed feelings following the news of the closure of Irish colleges and universities, but it is now perceived very much as a necessary measure, among the many others that the government is putting in place. While the university may not have activities on campus, the university simply does not stop and we have actually already moved all the teaching activities online …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 19 March]

Tags: ,

It’s Inconsequential, But For Final-Years, Today May Be a Sad College End

Posted in Life on March 16th, 2020 by steve

“When that fateful email was delivered to all of us on Tuesday afternoon, confirming the rumours that lectures would be cancelled for the remainder of term, my initial reaction was one of pure, unbridled delight. No longer would I endure the trauma that comes with 9am lectures – or, as was more commonly the case for me, the guilt that comes with missing said 9am lectures. Instead I was looking forward to ‘learning remotely’ from home in my bed …” (more)

[Aisling Marren, University Times, 12 April]

Tags: ,

Remembering Mary Ryan: one of the trailblazers of our education system

Posted in Life on March 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“This year, third-level colleges were granted approval for 20 women-only professorships, an initiative aimed at tackling gender inequality in higher education. The journey towards gender equality within academia has been long and difficult. With that in mind, University College Cork, celebrating its 175th year in 2020, is highlighting Mary Ryan for this year’s International Women’s Day …” (more)

[Timothy O’Connor, Irish Examiner, 7 March]

Tags: ,

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Life on February 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“This morning I was proceeding in a Northerly direction when I spied the local celebrity feline on post near the library. As I prepared to take a picture he turned to wash his rear parts. If he sits there when it’s raining or snowing it’s because he wants to be fed …” (more)

[In the Dark, 28 February]


Should you be working 100 hours a week?

Posted in Life on February 20th, 2020 by steve

“Mary Beard’s recent admission that she is a ‘mug’ who works 100 hours a week caused a Twitter storm. But how hard is it reasonable for academics to work? Who should decide? And should the mugs be obliged to keep quiet? Seven academics have their say …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 20 February]


The Jerks of Academe

Posted in Life on February 4th, 2020 by steve

“This morning you probably didn’t look in the mirror and ask, ‘Am I a jerk?’ And if you did, I wouldn’t believe your answer. Jerks usually don’t know that they are jerks. Jerks mostly travel in disguise, even from themselves …” (more)

[Eric Schwitzgebel, Chronicle of Higher Education, 31 January]


Building Up

Posted in Life on January 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“On my way back from lunch today I saw the chance to get into shot both of the big cranes operating on the site of the new building going up on the North Campus at Maynooth University …” (more)

[In the Dark, 27 January]


Cork school and wider community celebrate: Minister to review asylum application of Cork-based family facing deportation

Posted in Life on January 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The justice minister has pledged to review the asylum application of a Cork-based family facing deportation. The Khan family have been living in direct provision since arriving in Ireland from Saudi Arabia in 2017 …” (more)

[EchoLive, 15 January]

Tags: ,

Abused online and ‘afraid’ but UCC lecturer won’t leave Ireland

Posted in Life on January 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A UCC lecturer has said there are days when he is ‘afraid’ and he worries about Irish white terrorism after being targeted by disturbing online abuse. Dr Amanullah De Sondy, who is a senior lecturer in Contemporary Islam, says that he will not stop challenging the people who seek to spread hate …” (more)

[Áine Kenny, EchoLive, 8 January]


Student living in Direct Provision says jail would be ‘better than being here’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life on January 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“An asylum seeker in Direct Provision has highlighted how difficult it can be to undertake third-level education while living in unsuitable accommodation. Lesley Mkoko (51) is a mature student in his second year studying sociology at University College Dublin (UCD) through the University of Sanctuary scheme …” (more)

[, 5 January]

Tags: ,