Top teaching award for Dave

January 24, 2013

“Bugger me.”

That was how Dave, an MA student in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, responded to the news that he had been named Poppleton’s “Top Teacher” in the annual staff awards.

According to a member of the judging panel, Dave’s success was based on three considerations: the number of hours of undergraduate teaching for which he is responsible, the seniority of the teachers he has replaced and the breadth of topics he is required to cover.

So not only did Dave teach for hours a week, he also taught in place of such distinguished academics as Professor Lapping, Dr Quintock and Dr Piercemuller, and covered a range of cultural studies topics that included acculturation, anti-essentialism, Baudrillard, Judith Butler, intertextuality, Angela McRobbie, performativity, queer theory, symbolic order and Raymond Williams.

Dave was unable to attend the ceremony because of teaching commitments, but Professor Lapping, who accepted the award on his behalf, told the audience that without Dave’s consistently underpaid help it would have been impossible for senior staff in his department to devote themselves wholeheartedly to fabricating the impact section of their submissions to the research excellence framework.

Highly significant

Dr Mike Goshworthy, the Head of our Department of Social Psychology, has announced the results of an experiment that he believes will do much to counteract recent “scurrilous suggestions” from senior academics that the subject of social psychology is in serious trouble because of its past reliance on dubious experimental evidence.

In his study, Dr Goshworthy divided 120 bored students into two groups. One group was given a lecture on the value of social psychology and then each attendee was rewarded with a ripe apple. The second group heard the same lecture but then each attendee received a severe electrical shock.

A subsequent survey of both groups’ attitude towards the discipline of social psychology revealed (level of significance [s19] 5.367) that those who had received the ripe apple valued the subject more highly than those who had been cauterised by the electrical shock.

In the conclusion to his paper, Dr Goshworthy argues that his experiment shows conclusively that evaluative statements about social psychology are “strictly dependent upon situational context”. He told The Poppletonian that he intends in later experimental trials to control for “the influence of fruit variables” by replacing the ripe apple with a mango or “possibly a pineapple”.

Everything’s coming up roses

Once again the University of Poppleton’s Ethics Committee is in the news. Only last week we reported that the decision to abolish the committee because of its “negative effect on the acceptance of large gifts from dubious sponsors” had been revoked after the discovery that the existence of an ethics committee at Durham University had not halted that institution’s acceptance of donations from British American Tobacco, the former prime minister of Kuwait and the Iranian government.

This week we learn that our Ethics Committee will be capitalising on research done at Coventry University’s Technology Park and fitting its committee room with Exilica micro-technology floor tiles, which come loaded with fragrance and antibacterial agents and therefore “smell nice and stay clean at all times”. One member told The Poppletonian that the clean smell had made it “that much easier” to approve a new Vatican- financed Chair of Family Planning.

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Here’s a clever thought for the age of the internet:

“~Home is where you hang your @.”

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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