Laurie Taylor – 29 October 2015

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

October 29, 2015
Couple sleeping on bench in London
Source: Alamy

Perchance to dream

“You might say that Poppleton has given ‘a very warm welcome’ to the Wellcome Trust,” joked Louise Bimpson, our Corporate Director of Human Resources, as she announced a brand-new campus-wide initiative.

Ms Bimpson told The Poppletonian that this initiative was a direct response to the concern expressed by Wellcome Trust director Jeremy Farrar, that “the growing short-term pressure to publish” in journals had not left academics “with sufficient space…to dream”.

From the beginning of next month, said Ms Bimpson, any such existing space deficiency at Poppleton campus would be remedied by the transformation of the left-hand corner of the Jo Johnson College car park into “A Dream Space”. From that point in time, any academic who required “space to dream” would be able to book a 15-minute uninterrupted segment in the new development.

Obviously, added Ms Bimpson, there would need to be “certain checks and balances” on the character of the dreams that were entertained in this new facility in case academics abused the space by entertaining dreams of the research freedom that existed before the invention of the Gradgrindian research excellence framework or by engaging in advanced fantasies about the evisceration of our incumbent vice-chancellor.

Because you’re not worth it!

Our Head of Student Destinations, Mavis Trolley, has told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that she “broadly agrees” with survey results from education company Instructure that show that UK students are far too optimistic about their employment prospects.

However, Ms Trolley said that it would be inappropriate to read too much into these results or indeed into the additional news that only 9 per cent of Poppleton graduates were in jobs “to which they had aspired” compared with the survey’s UK average of 32 per cent. But, suggested Ponting, might not this disappointing result have something to do with our university prospectus making more than 100 references to the extraordinary success of our graduates in the job market? Didn’t the new evidence suggest that this was seriously misleading?

Ms Trolley disagreed. “What you totally fail to remember is that today’s students are no longer simply students. They are customers. And as all regular customers know, there is necessarily a large gap between their expectations of a product and what it delivers in reality. So compared, say, to the relative ability of Neutroferma to take years off your facial age or the likelihood that Charisma Aftershave will function as an aphrodisiac, Poppleton’s promise to secure you a job that you might like seems positively well founded.”

(Ms Trolley was previously Head of Data Security at a leading broadband and mobile phone provider.)

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

As I was strolling through the red and golden autumnal leaves that bestrew the abandoned wastes of our former Science Park, I found this little poem coming to my wind-chafed lips. It seemed to provide a valuable corrective to all those who expect to enjoy themselves at work:

Everyone wants
No one wants pain
But you can’t have a rainbow
Without a little rain

(I am grateful to our Professor of Theoretical Physics for pointing out that this poem overlooks the manner in which atmospheric water molecules reflect light in certain given “conditions of humidity” even without the presence of “a little rain”. But, as I told him in my response: “What on earth rhymes with ‘water molecules?”)

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