Monthly Archives: May 2010

#fruitbatgate in public on the internet

I’d planned on writing something deep and intellectual this weekend….   but the education blogosphere seems to be dominated by fruitbatgate.

I don’t know the people involved, and even if I did I wouldn’t contribute my opinions.  Inevitably, there are always multiple sides to stories like these, sides that outsiders rarely see.

How on earth did such a sensitive matter that should be internal to an institution get so much coverage on the internet?  Welcome to the 21st century internetworked world. Whether they have the full facts of the case or not, members of the online community will have something to say. Here’s a sample:

And from the lecturer at the centre of the case:

Is it right that the internet has so much coverage of this?

Yes:

Harassment cases always have something to offer in terms of learning about what is and is not acceptable behaviour. If people don’t know they are happening, then the learning opportunity is denied.

Sometimes, internal policies and procedures don’t work so well and it takes an outside airing to tidy them up.

No:

This case has consequences for the careers of the people involved and UCC as an institution. Do they need this unravelling in public?

One party has come out and named himself, the other hasn’t.  There seems to be much online support for the self-named party and more of his side of the story is out there available for public scrutiny.

For good or bad, right or wrong, the story is now out there and it’s traveling. I agree with F Von Prondzynski: UCC need to say something, and say it soon.

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A relaxing day

Today was far too nice (weather-wise) to spend it in-doors with head-in-the-books. Instead, I strolled around the campus and did some snapping.  Click on the Flickr link on the side bar to see the result.  Of course, the place looks much more fetching last week when the cherry trees were in full pink bloom.  My loss!

Just in case, I got book-withdrawal symptoms, I bought some new ones.  The only positive thing I can say for book readers is that they are space-saving. I have over-flowing shelves at the moment that require a clear out that’s not coming fast.  Yet, there is something reassuring and comfortable and real about a proper physical book.

Today’s paper-based purchases:

  • The Eye-Witness guide to Madrid – early summer holiday planning
  • The critics raved about My Lazy Eye but I’m not usually swayed by critics.  I am swayed by hardback at €4.99, reduced down from €16.00.
  • “The strange true life growing up adventures of Oran Canfield”. I’ve always been fascinated about the different courses peoples lives take. Some people just seem to have everything good fall into their laps, serendipity is on their side, they have an excess of talents and everyone loves them.  Other people have entirely the opposite. Psychologists constantly stress the role of childhood in determining the adult personality. How then does the son of two therapists (one of whom is Jack Canfield, author of the world famous “Chicken soup for the soul”) end up with such a broken life, freefalling into drug addiction?
  • A title such as “How mumbo-jumbo conquered the world” is eye-catching in its own right.  A flick through confirms the title. The author wonders how things that are implausible or just plain wrong are accepted as normal.  Homeopathy comes in for a bashing. Other aspects are more surprising e.g. a study of Wall Street stock brokers is quoted as claiming that 48% of brokers consult their horoscope before buying / selling. That claim alone explain a multitude!