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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fueling my fire....

Got off the plane in Melbourne and walked into temperatures in the mid-80s -- and it was only morning! My hosts drove me around a bit after checking into the hotel (more below), including a lunch at a wonderful site in the mountains that overlooks Melbourne (hopefully some pics later as well). All very nice, but by four or five in the afternoon I had run out of energy -- and hit the bed as soon as I got to the hotel room. It was 11PM before I awoke....

The hotel room was a bit of a shock. I guess the only thing they had available was one fitted for disabled persons, and so while access was easy, the facilities were odd. The big surprise was that there was no wardrobe with drawers in which to put my clothes (something I didn't notice until midnight when I decided to unpack). When I mentioned that, the staff merely shrugged their shoulders.... It is that kind of hotel.... I think they will have naother room for me when I return later today...

Since I was up in the wee hours of the night, I got to watch the Australia-South Africa cricket match being played in SA, and it brought back memories of my time in Northern Ireland trying to figure the game out as friend Masood Kahn attempted to explain it to me. Watching it blurried eyed last night, I actually thought I was getting it. Yet I was amazed at how many points were being scored. In any case, I fell asleep (finally!) and awoke to find out that the game was in fact a historic one -- that Australia, in scoring 434 had broken some sort of record, and South Africa, in topping them with 438 had broken that record. Hmmm, no wonder the South African crowd seemed so excited -- what do I know?

I am now set up with wireless access on the Monash University campus -- but getting access was like breaking into a bank. What an elaborate system of security.... Even now I have to enter username and passwords everytime I reopen my browser.

While waiting for access I went out to breakfast around the corner from campus, and reading the morning paper found still another case study for my work on accountability. It seems that the Business Council of Australia had just released a report highly critical of universities for not having "job ready" graduates -- and it seems that this was timed to coincide with the Education Ministry's consideration of developing "job ready ratings" to be in place in 2012. Hmmm, mere coincidence? (As it happens, in the US a proposal to establish standardized tests for US higher education graduates is now floating about the Department of Education. Hmmmm, another mere coincidence?)

Coincidence or not, all this is just fuel for my fire of criticism.... This accountability reform stuff is truly getting out of hand....



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