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A new professor's diary

2006-07-08 00:57

  Jan 3rd, 1995

  I have long heard of the lives of the privileged classes, and now I have prepared myself to experience life as a member. Tomorrow, I will don the the uniform of the academic and re-enter society, NOT as I once was, a worker and pawn of the educated classes, but as a peer of those very people. Tomorrow, I shall become an academic!

  Jan 4th, 1995

  Dressed in a pair of green slacks with shortened legs, red cardigan and egg-yolk-stained tee-shirt; sporting a scraggly beard and armed only with a pipe, I stepped onto the University Campus. Immediately upon mumbling some incomprehensible gibberish, I was greeted on with respect and awe by my fellow academia. Applying for tenure was simple. The questions were very direct:

  They: Do you know what you're doing?

  Me: This is Belgium, right?

  They: You have a masters in English?

  Me: I have a Red Volvo!

  They: And you're applying for a position in the department of Physics?

  Me: I think sometimes, therefore I am illogical!

  I was appointed immediately and released to an unsuspecting student population.

  Jan 5th, 1995

  Today was my first as a lecturer. I prepared concientiously by drinking heavily, watching lots of television and going to bed very late the preceding night turning up at my lecture the prescribed 1 minute late, I spoke of Yeats and the passion of his poetry. The first year Physics students were left speechless.

  Jan 6th, 1995

  I did not go to work today, due to my thinking it was Saturday.

  Jan 7th, 1995

  I did not go to work today, due to my thinking it was a Wednesday.

  Jan 8th, 1995

  I went to work today and was distressed at the lack of attendance.

  Jan 9th, 1995

  Being conscientious in the maintenance of my diary, I take a well deserved holiday knowing that in three more days I will be eligible for a six month sebattical.

  Jan 12th, 1995

  My lecture this morning was a landmark effort. I launched into the explanation of the right-hand-rule, then, remembering that I was an academic, subverted myself into discussing of the right-hand-rule of hitch-hiking, the dangers of hitchhiking, the dangers of hitching in South America, my Holiday in South America, the woman I met in South America, the place she worked at, their physics department, then to finish off, what their physics department said about the right-hand-rule. I think I was well received

  Jan 13th, 1995

  A minor peice of confusion here in that I brought my Telephone book instead of my lecture notes. I improvised the basic electrical safety section of the course with the aid of two paper clips, a student and a handy power point. I feel sure the class now appreciates the dangers of electricity. Attendance dropped by one.

  Jan 14th, 1995

  Being a Friday, I decide to excite my first year pupils with an experiment in wave theory. I walked into the lab, waved, and left. I'm sure my students appreciated the humourous content.

  Jan 16th, 1995

  Having now mastered when weekends occur, I turned up to receive confirmation of my sebattical, taking it, on full pay, immediately.

  Jul 17th, 1995

  Back from sebattical I realise that I did not make arrangements for a stand-in lecturer. In an attempt to catch up for the lost time, I set the students some homework, pages 1-375, read and do all exercises.

  Jul 18th, 1995

  Attendance was exceptionally low today with only one student in class. When I asked him how his homework was going as his entire coursework depended on it. He screamed and left. I marked him absent and informed the grants department that no-one was attending my courses.

  Jul 21st, 1995

  My students are all back having received the letter informing them that grants are only paid to attending students. Scholarship students, with a far harsher attendance policy, are openly weeping.

  Jul 24th, 1995

  I am now eligible for three months extra-curricular sebattical, which I decide to take immediately, warning my students that the exam will be held the day I return, covering all aspects of the course, including the last minute addition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica to the Book List. I expect all students to have a copy.

  Oct 24th, 1995

  Exam day.

  Having no preparation time, I use last years exam and substitute different values for the equation. I randomly appoint a student from another class to work out the answers and mark the exams.

  Oct 27th, 1995

  I receive the results of the exam which indicate that 89% of the class passed the exam. Lauded as an academic genius, I am awarded 6 months further paid sebbatical to study the effects of alcohol on the mind. Starting the third day of term next year. I think I'm on a winner here.

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