Out, out, damned spot!

January 14, 2010

Academics in our humanities departments were shocked to learn last week that a thorough investigation by a university management team had failed to find any evidence for the existence of an I (impact) Spot within their curriculums.

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), the head of the investigative team said their work had been complicated by differing academic views of where the spot might be located. "Some believed that it was to be found in the area of 'civilised values', others thought it lay within 'critical spirit', and still others insisted that it could be discovered in 'enlarged cultural sensitivity'."

However, although the team used highly sensitive equipment to probe deep into the curriculum, they were eventually forced to conclude that the idea of there being a distinctive I-spot in the humanities was "largely imaginary" and had "more to do with hope than reality".

Flipper's new adventure?

Claims by the university's UCU representative, Ted Boalerges, that our university had reacted too promptly to the finding from the University of Atlanta that dolphins deserve "human status" have been rejected by a spokesperson from our ever-expanding Human Resources team. Mr Boalerges explained that he had no quarrel with the research showing a previously unrecognised degree of "psychological continuity" between dolphins and humans. But "taking everything into account", he did not believe this justified Poppleton's recent appointment of a mature bottle-nosed dolphin as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics.

Mr Boalerges was, however, quick to note that his opposition to the appointment did not in any way imply approval for the "scurrilous" website that was inviting Poppleton academics to devise a musical welcome for the new member of staff. (These welcomes have already included such "insensitive" suggestions as "Zing went the strings of my carp", "It happened in Manta Ray", "Shark the herald angels sing" and "Where have all the flounders gone?".)

Smile! Here comes a management handout

We're already well ahead of the University of Leeds. This was the response of several leading members of Poppleton academic staff to the news that Leeds management staff had been instructed to include some gentle humour in their official communications to make "life richer for the reader".

Speaking on behalf of other Poppleton colleagues, Professor Lapping of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies said that nearly 90 per cent of all current management communications contained "richly comic elements". So appreciated was this humour that it was common practice in his department to bring all staff together after the receipt of a new management document so that they "could have a jolly good laugh" and try to determine which "comedian" in the administration was responsible for its contents.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

This is the time of year when we should all be thinking about how losing those few pounds will add to our mental wellbeing. Here's a little quote to help you on your way:

"Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. (Coincidence? I think not!)"


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