Wrong Seats of Learning
The seminar/lecture season is back in full swing at the uni in Embra and Huttonian enjoyed a good days academia yesterday in Ould Reekie. My lectured- at- students are still very new to me and I had one of those horrid frissons as I walked into the lecture hall -lots of faces but none I instantly recognised. In a moment of panic I thought I had gone into the wrong room but it must have been ok as there were no protests when I started on a pontification about Jordan. I remember a colleague who had been pleased to see that his class seemed fuller than usual (not at Embra but at another ancient seat of learning). 'Ah' he thought 'my reputation is pulling them in' and started into his discourse on the lesser known aspects of Moldavian jellyfish and their influences on Proustian Discourse* Peripherally he observed a surprising number of oriental faces he had not noticed at previous lectures but was delighted to observe their rapt attention and assiduous note taking. At the end the Far Easterners rose as one person in response to a whistle and left in a body-following the party out into the quadrangle he saw them herded onto a bus and whisked off. 'Tojo Academic Tours' was emblazoned on the side of the bus. He later learned that his lecture had been selected at random by the tour organisers as part of their ' The Oxbridge Experience-Via Screaming Tyres to Dreaming Spires'
Good packaging, that.
In these parts the bulk of Japanese tourists head for Alnwick Castle for the Harry Potter Experience and I doubt if Modern Middle East History in the Appleton Tower, George Square, Embra, is on many itineraries.
Three years ago I unwittingly woke a student when discussing the finer points of the Iraq/Iran War (1979-1987) He jumped up and rushed out of the room muttering' Sorry, Wrong Lecture' This was 4.45 pm and the lecture started at 4. I am really sorry to have spoiled his afternoon.
* Thought to be tenous. Blog-ed
(the image is of the Harry Potter connection to Alnwick Castle. Difficult to compete with that)
Labels: Embra, Harry Potter, University of Edinburgh