bob sterman wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:51 pm
Back on August 30th
Carl Heneghan (Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine) appeared on BBC Radio 5...
...and made the following strong claims, that he said were based on data.
- It's never been safer for students come back to universities.
... sure it was safe for students to go back to university then
, term hadn't started, there was nobody there.
I'm currently going to Milan three times a week to teach a master's course which is tiny at the best of times but now even with six students officially signed up for it (the deadline for finalizing their options isn't until October so I should have a seventh student by then) there was one in the room and two watching online and I suppose the rest will just watch the recording.
But yesterday we had the degree ceremonies (for the three-year* degrees) - how it works here is that the students give a ten minute presentation of a two-week project which they normally do in a lab** but of course this year it was all done by distance so they all did some theory/data-processing, then the commission decides how many marks to give them for it*** and therefore what the final mark of their degree is (out of 110) and whether it's Cum Laude and then the marks are read out and the official proclamation makes everyone engineers.
The session back in spring obviously just didn't happen since covid happened before anything could reasonably be planned, so everyone just became engineers without any ceremony. However, this time it was decided to do it in presence, apart from anyone with a reasonable reason to do it remotely, using the same system as had been set up for lectures. Since I've already been lecturing, I was the President of my commission (there were a whole load of small commissions in the morning and in the afternoon to spread things out a bit) which meant not only did I have to organize all the technological stuff but also all the administrative stuff and give the proclamation and wear a stupid**** gown and everything.
There were rules limiting how many guests each student could bring and how many people could be in each lecture room, and celebrations and photography weren't allowed, so of course celebrations and photography happened just outside with big throngs of people anyway.
Maybe they will have learnt their lesson and will avoid a repeat performance for the master's degrees next week.
* - well it depends on how long it takes for them to get exam results they are satisfied with, I've had students finally graduate years after having done their third-year project.
** - mechanical engineers are more likely to do a longer sort of work-experience thing.
*** - in physics we basically give everyone almost the maximum available, making sure it rounds up anyway, unless they're really terrible, in which case we might ensure it doesn't round up.
**** - well if you know me at all you'll know I love dressing up like that, but I did have to go to Milan to get a gown on a day when I wouldn't otherwise have gone. In February it was decided that the entire commission, not just the president, would have to wear a gown but a week or two later we were told to stop going to get gowns because they had run out and then anyway covid. And then this time it we were also told that everyone needed a gown but then later the same day it was pointed out that not everybody had them and there still weren't enough.