Stop me if you've heard this one!

July 22, 2010

Our university has responded promptly to the news that Mark Russell and Helen Barefoot of the University of Hertfordshire's Learning and Teaching Institute have discovered the formula for the perfect teacher.

Speaking to The Poppletonian, our Director of Curriculum Development, Janet Fluellen, said that she fully endorsed the finding that "the ideal lecturer was an 'edutainer', a teacher who was able to combine education and entertainment".

As a first step to further the "entertainment" aspect of the "edutainer", she announced the formation of a university Joke Bank that could be readily accessed by lecturers wishing to improve their performance.

Although the bank is only in its formative stage, jokes are already available in sociology ("What do you get if you cross a sociologist with a member of the Mafia? An offer you can't understand") and chemistry ("If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate").

Ms Fluellen hoped that in future, the Joke Bank would also be able to provide "edutainers" with a variety of apposite T-shirts (Ecology Department: "Save the Trees: Eat a Beaver") and a selection of exploding cigarettes, bandaged fingers and "naughty Fidos".

Not all academics have welcomed the development. One professor with grey hair and a saggy blue cardigan with leather buttons in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, who wished to remain anonymous, said that what with the vice-chancellor's salary and the size of the human resources department, there were already quite enough jokes on campus without the need for a special repository.

Holiday villa available

Due to a last-minute cancellation, a leading academic's lovingly restored villa is available for let during the month of August.

"Meadow View" (aka 23 Fern Avenue, Middle Poppleton) is the perfect base for rambling excursions (no public transport) to very similar-looking neighbouring places.

In addition to off-street parking in the front garden, the property benefits from its semi-elevated position (several feet further up the hill than number 25). The rear offers uninterrupted views across a mature lawn to the fence, which marks the property's boundary with the attractions of the Homebase car park. The deceptively spacious interior is furnished in contemporary flatpack style and offers sleeping accommodation for between 9 and 17 people.

Apply in the first instance to

Know what I mean?

Dr Stephen Nage of the Department of Theoretical Theories has been disciplined by our Relatively Plain English Committee.

The committee, which was established following concerns expressed by Profile publisher Andrew Franklin about the "abominable" writing of some academics, found that Dr Nage had not only failed to establish any meaningful form of communication with his fellow metatheorists, but was also incapable of understanding his own published work.

In his defence, Dr Nage said that he'd had "a jolly good try" at making sense of several of his recent articles, but only managed to obtain "some sort of inkling of what they were about before being defeated by the impenetrable language".

Dr Nage will be formally sentenced after the concluding examination, in which he will be asked to correctly identify a spade.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Please note that due to a printing error, next week's Pilates clinic was incorrectly described as a 'pie and lattes' session."

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