Laurie Taylor – 29 June 2017

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

June 29, 2017
Fairytale illustration
Source: Alamy

Welcome to the Golden Age!

Thousands of excited academics and managers joined hands yesterday in a mass campus celebration of our gold teaching excellence framework award.

“No one will ever laugh at Poppleton again,” declared Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, as he addressed the cheering crowd from the balcony of the Jo Johnson Administrative Block.

One architect of our victory was fiction writer Louise M. Muskett who composed our TEF “narrative”. To mark her role in our success, The Poppletonian asked her to write exclusively for this week’s edition. Here is her story.

Once upon a time, there was a great man called King JoJo who wanted to discover which of his many princes most deserved his favour. So he called them all together and explained that there would be glittering prizes for all those princes who could show that they were the fairest of them all.

“But how will you discover the fairest of us all?” asked the princes.

And then King JoJo told them that there would be a test. In the first part of the test, they would be required to stand for a whole year on just one leg. In the second part, they would remain standing on one leg but would also have to balance a hard-boiled egg on the end of their nose. In the final part, they would be asked to write a long letter saying how good they had been at standing on one leg while balancing a hard-boiled egg on the end of their nose.

Not everyone, though, was happy with this test. Many princes thought that this was a very strange way to decide who was the fairest of them all. But then King JoJo opened his chest of gold and suddenly they all found themselves agreeing that this was a very good test indeed.

And then the test began. Many of the princes were so occupied with standing on one leg and balancing a hard-boiled egg on the end of their nose and writing about how good they were at standing and balancing that they had little time to attend to any other of their princely duties.

But then the day came when the judges appointed by King JoJo announced the names of those who had earned a golden prize.

And, lo and behold, there was a great celebration when gold was heaped upon those princes who no one before had ever considered as the fairest of the fair, the formerly ill-favoured princes of Bangor and Coventry and Derby and Northampton and Portsmouth and Poppleton. And all these princes promptly and fulsomely declared that this had been the best possible test of all as they happily supped champagne.

But there was also a great gnashing of teeth among those eminent princes who found that they had been denied access to the gold. This was such a silly test, so invalid, so unreliable, they promptly and fulsomely declared, as they miserably munched sour grapes.

And then some of these princes who found that they were no longer the fairest of the fair, the formerly grand princes of York and Southampton and Liverpool and Durham, decided that it was all too much to bear.

“We are appealing,” said these discontented princes.

“I’m afraid you’re not,” said King JoJo. “Not appealing in any way.”

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