My worst nightmare

December 3, 2004

In the 1980s, the Open University wanted to improve students'

learning from television. Viewing sessions with tons of exercises based on the video were arranged nationally and I was put in charge of one in Swindon.

I put on the video and found that instead of a sociologist banging on about TV, I had picked up a copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream in drag. I remember going into a corner, saying a quick prayer and throwing vast piles of now-useless material out of sight. I was the only non-student in the building, so there was no shoulder to cry on.

What we did for the rest of the session, I can't recall, but several students, most of whom were non-humanities, said afterwards that they enjoyed it.

John Kirkaldy is an associate lecturer with the Open University.

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