Hey, Mr Tambourine Man!
Our deputy Head of Student Experience, Nancy Harbinger, has gone out of her way to praise Sir Anthony Seldon, the vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, for what she described as “his bold move against student drug-taking”.
Ms Harbinger said that Sir Anthony’s plan to make his university the UK’s “first drug-free university” by insisting upon students signing a no-drug contract was particularly telling because it was linked to his own “terrifying” experience of “going out of his mind” after taking marijuana while with “a group of friends on a boat moored on the Norfolk Broads”.
However, not everyone on campus shared Ms Harbinger’s enthusiasm for such a campus ban. One critic, Mr Ted Odgers of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies, pointed out that only a few days ago, the new universities minister, Sam Gyimah, had declared that “a personal anecdote is never the best foundation for policy”.
“This was a most important reservation,” said Mr Odgers. “For, although my own drug-taking these days is now restricted to an evening bottle or two of good claret, I have heard many stories from marijuana users that document the manner in which the drug induces a generalised feeling of euphoria. This certainly suggests that Sir Anthony’s ‘terrifying’ experience may have had rather less to do with the ingestion of marijuana than having to spend an extended period moored on the Norfolk Broads.”
I’ll never forget what’s-his-name
“Your lectures give ditchwater a bad name.”
“You always yawn before you speak. The reason for the yawn is only apparent when one hears what you have to say.”
“Halfway through your last lecture, I heard a faint recurrent sound. Yes, it was paint drying.”
These were just some of negative comments contained in a recent student assessment of Professor Lapping’s second-year Media and Cultural Studies course, “Stepping Backwards: Gender Stereotyping in Come Dancing”.
Despite the evidently negative nature of these comments, Professor Lapping said that he was far from being discomfited.
“Although such comments are made anonymously, I completely subscribe to the recent declaration by Darren Reid, lecturer in history at Coventry University, that it is fairly easy to work out who was responsible by checking their consistency with the speaking patterns and opinions of known students.
“In this case,” continued Professor Lapping, “it is clear that all those negative comments are the work of a single second-year undergraduate.”
Was Professor Lapping prepared to name his critic?
“That would be most unfair. Although, as Dr Reid makes clear, anonymity is difficult to preserve in the current student feedback system, it is surely an ideal to which we must all subscribe. So suffice it to say that my student critic is a red-haired malingering male know-nothing with a Jay-Z T-shirt, a possible drug habit and bad eczema. Further than that, I’m not prepared to go.”