Saturday, May 15, 2021

My 3 Seconds

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan attended the Aviva MVC for vaccination last Thursday evening, and of course he had to tweet about it! He had his visit recorded despite cameras not being allowed at the Centre. I feature in the video for three seconds near the beginning, that's me in the blue vest patrolling the queue as it nears the vaccination area.

Minister Ryan queued up just like everyone else, in fact he was one of the last of over 2,000 people to be vaccinated that day at the Aviva. The work of the fantastic team of Dublin City Volunteers is in the main to manage and control the flow of people through the vaccination centre over three floors. We also try to project a positive attitude despite people queuing sometimes for over an hour. Almost everyone who comes to the Aviva is positive and accepting that queuing is necessary. Rudeness and moaning does happen, but it is thankfully very rare. Recognition such as that from Eamon Ryan is very much appreciated by all the staff and volunteers - we look forward to having him back in a few weeks! Here is his Tweet:

Thursday, May 13, 2021

To Answer (or not) viewer questions in YouTube comments?

Many people who watch my YouTube videos leave comments. Sometimes the comments thank me for posting the video, tell me that viewer has learned a lot, and that some like my style (while others don't!). However, I also get a lot of questions seeking further help - and I find that it is time consuming to answer them all. I take the view that if a student had asked the same question face-to-face, I would respond with "Did you attend the class?", "Did you study the course notes?", and "Did you read the recommended text book?". So I ask myself should I respond to all video comments when I feel it is clearly a student's responsibility to do their homework first?

In general, I do not respond to comments unless I can do so quickly and easily. As I write, my channel has 11,615 comments, so I feel with this volume that I cannot respond to them all. I'm guessing that responding to comments improves my rating in YouTube's algorithms, but I basically do not have the time to do so.

One of my most popular videos (a surprise "hit" for me with 867,638 views since published January 11th, 2012) is How To... Calculate Mean and Standard Deviation in Excel 2010. This video has 261 comments and today I received a comment from a viewer looking for further help. The viewer should be able to check out other resources before they come to me - I am not an on-line tutor providing an education service. Nevertheless, in this case I will respond as I have used the viewer's post as an example here.

I hope that any viewers reading this post do not think that I am being mean!

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

40 Years Ago Today #BobbySands

On 5th May 1981, I turned on my little radio when I woke up to hear the news of the death of Bobby Sands after 66 days on hunger strike. He was just 27 years old. I was both sad and mad. Sad that he had died after much suffering in a cause he had the courage to believe in, and mad as hell that he had been allowed to die. He was the first of 10 to die on this strike - all the strikers were in their twenties, and would surely all be still alive today if they had not participated in the strike.

It was a turbulent time with many demonstrations in Ireland and black flags everywhere. I was 21 years old during all this and was a student at Trinity College. There was a lot of sympathy for the strikers, but perhaps not as much support for their aims. While I was supportive, to my shame I did not participate in any of the campaigns. However, I did sign the Book of Condolence for Derry man Thomas McElwee (died 8th August 1981, age 23) outside the GPO in Dublin. I recall I signed my name as "E O'Loughlin, Wicklow" - not having the courage to give my full name or address. Shame.

Photo to right taken in 2016 at the Bobby Sands Mural, Falls Road, Belfast.