Laurie Taylor

November 24, 2000

"The majority of mature students suffer from social and cultural isolation" News, THES , November 17.

Yes, do come in. You've come to fix my printer?

No.

Oh, I'm sorry. You must be the chap from facilities management to bleed the radiators.

No, I'm McManus. One of your first-year supervisees.

First year? But you're so...

I'm a mature student.

Of course you are McManus. That's exactly what you are. A mature student. And all the more welcome for that. Now, what seems to be the problem?

It's only that I'm having a little difficulty keeping up with some of the references you make in the popular culture seminars.

What sort of thing did you have in mind?

Well, I've made a couple of notes. Last week, for example, you mentioned Coldplay and Badly Drawn Boy.

No need to worry there, McManus. They're simply promising indie bands. You know, much like The Beatles and The Kinks in your time.

Right. And then I got a bit confused when you described psychological attempts to explain the appeal of popular culture as - I've got it here, yes - "as largely pants".

Quite straightforward really. That's simply contemporary vernacular for "bad" or "out of order". More or less the opposite of "wicked".

Right. And then, when someone in the seminar said they'd not had time to finish their essay because of the floods you said - one moment, ah yes - you said, "Yeah, whatever".

That's right. It's the modern way of expressing ironic doubt.

Thank you, Professor Lapping. That is really very helpful. I hope you don't mind me troubling you.

Not at all, McManus. That's what I'm here for. See ya .

See ya, Professor Lapping.

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