Saturday, 21 May 2016

Back from the blackout

I wasn't able to post to the blog at all last week, because I was in China.  More or less all Google services are blocked there and that includes Google's Blogger platform.  I was attending a workshop called International Workshop on Nuclear Dynamics 2016.  I should have realised better in retrospect that it wasn't the best of weeks to go there.  I realised when I said yes that it would be semester time, but I made sure that I would be able to give the online tutorials that were the only part of face-to-face teaching scheduled that week.  I was also over optimistic in thinking that I would have managed to finish the marking of the module for which I give the online tutorials before I went to China.  The assignment requires detailed marking for the feedback to be of any use, it worked well in the past when fewer students opted to take the course.  This year the numbers have exploded and I've struggled somewhat with the consequent marking.  That took up many hours last week.  Then there are other things to do with research grant planning and dealing with the process of appointing a new lecturer.  The fact that the last weeks were busy for that was not something I knew when I said yes to the workshop.

Oh well.  I gave my talk, and I watched many, but not all, of the other talks.  I didn't go on either of the excursions and got to see very little of the city of Xinxiang or the region.  Here, then, is my very minimal photo gallery of the week

From left to right, it's the view out of my hotel room, across the Central Park and to the Xinxiang municipal building.  It's more grand than Guildford Council offices, I think.  In the middle -- well, it's a bit uncouth to laugh at poor English translations when I don't understand a word of Chinese, but it was a particularly surprising thing to find at the dinner buffet.  The picture on the right is a rock on display at Henan Normal University, which organised the workshop.  Inscribed on it is the University's motto, which means something like "Strive for Virtue and Knowledge".