My worst nightmare

February 11, 2005

A few years ago, as external examiner for an institution in Sri Lanka, I got a day off and I was taken to an elephants' orphanage. As I walked through the lush vegetation, I passed an attractive Sri Lankan woman who asked: "Are you Alan Clements, the computer science professor?"

I was gobsmacked. Fame at last. But how did she know who I was? Did they put my picture on local copies of my textbooks? I asked how she recognised me. "My brother works at the institute. He told me to keep a lookout for a short fat grey-haired bearded Englishman." It's amazing how you can smile externally and sob internally at the same time.

Alan Clements is professor at the School of Computing, Teesside University.

Send your worst nightmare to mandy.garner@thes.co.uk

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