My worst nightmare

March 4, 2005

On an extremely hot day, I opened all the windows and doors of my seminar room. Outside, a path was being noisily built from the seminar room to the chapel - possibly anticipating students overcome with remorse at not having read the booklist.

While a gang of brickies, wearing nothing but shorts and tattoos, sweated and swore only feet away, I began to feel increasingly unmanly as I asked Tamsin about verse and Persephone about rhyme. Then I realised that while the brickies looked leeringly in, my 20 female students were looking lewdly out. I was caught in a most un-Keatsian lustful crossfire. It seemed to last forever.

Kevin McCarron is reader in American literature at Roehampton University.

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