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.

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