In my previous job, I had to teach a group of about 25 dance and drama students. Most of them were 18-year-old women in legwarmers who seemed to have an emotional age of about 14. Some were very good students, but they were insufferable en masse. Their mobile phones regularly rang in class, they listened to the Spice Girls without irony and they never, ever stopped chatting.
One day, I snapped and shouted, "JUST SHUT UP!" but with a swear word in the middle of the sentence. It is the only time I have ever lost my temper with a group of undergraduates.
Oliver Double is a lecturer in drama at Kent University.
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