Make your mind up time

January 29, 2015

As we are constantly reminded, the general election draws ever nearer.

Here at The Poppletonian, we regard it as vitally important that all our readers have a clear knowledge of how each of the main political parties intends to approach higher education in the event of an electoral victory.

This week, we are pleased to bring you the essential components of the Labour Party’s policy.


Relief is at hand

Grinning man holding hands in front of face

Our Poet-in-Residence, Marcia Flowering, has given a big poetic thumbs up to the recent contention made in Times Higher Education by Belinda Jack, fellow in French at Christ Church, Oxford, that poetry can act as a medicine.

She asks us to point out that her website already draws attention to the therapeutic properties of some of her present poetic effusions. Here are just a few special offers:

Sonnets. Pack of Six
Provide that quick extra burst of energy when spirits are low.
“Quite the best rhyming couplet my partner and I have ever achieved.”
Professor, Department of Linguistics

Odes. Individually priced
For those special occasions when something more extended is required.
“Kept me going for longer than I’d have thought possible.”
Reader, Department of Neurasthenics

Also available:
(With rotating head. Batteries included)


Learning the lessons

Following the news that Thomas Docherty has been cleared by a university tribunal of all the charges brought against him, Warwick University has issued a “final joint statement” in which it accepts the tribunal’s findings and acknowledges that “there are lessons to be learned”.

We asked Dr Emmanuel Handling of our Department of Experimental Ethics to assess the general nature of these lessons. Here is his provisional analysis:

  1. On the whole, it is probably best not to ban an academic from campus for nine months for nothing more serious than sighing, projecting negative body language and making “ironic” comments when interviewing candidates for a job
  2. On the whole, it is probably best not to complement that ban with a ban on the said academic contacting any of his own undergraduates
  3. On the whole, it is probably best not to complement that ban with a ban on the said academic continuing to tutor his own PhD students
  4. On the whole, it is probably best not to complement that ban with a ban on the said academic speaking to any of his former colleagues
  5. On the whole, it is probably best not to employ a team of barristers at a cost in excess of £43,000 to represent the university’s case at an internal tribunal
  6. On the whole, it is probably best not to proceed to lose that case and to have the said academic cleared of all charges
  7. On the whole, is it probably best not to try to save face by refusing to reveal the full legal costs of pursuing the case against the said academic.

Dr Handling told The Poppletonian that “on the whole” these were “quite enough lessons for one day”.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Next week’s session on Dream Interpretation will be taken by Dr Jacobson of the Freiburg Psychoanalytic Institute. (Dr Freiburg asked me to mention in advance that he is now “thoroughly bored” with the one about the train going into the tunnel.)

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