Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Where my mind goes during staff meetings

When I was an undergraduate, one of our academics gave lectures in a German accent. He wasn't actually German, of course. Had he been, this wouldn't be much of an anecdote. As it is, it's not the most riveting story. But bear with me. I've been in meetings all day and my judgment is impaired.

Anyway, the fake German accent kept our attention in what was an otherwise dull lecture series. Part of that attention was devoted to trying to work out WTF he was saying because a fake accent is never as clear as a real one but once we were over that we were mightily entertained.

And this made me wonder whether I should give next semester's lectures in a fake accent. But here's the problem — my talent for accents has gone the same way as my vocabulary, memory and restraint. It's declined to such an extent that I can only manage two with any degree of accuracy. So in the next few staff meetings, during with the fate of our School will be decided, I'll be making an equally momentous decision: Which accent — West Country or South African?



Ja, dat vould be a gud zing to do.

Lynsey said...

Stuff the accent - although international lecture like a pirate would be fun - too much work required. I bid for wearing a superhero outfit, striking poses (and fear), and striking out to save the world from bad apa formatting. Add a tea towel for the cape, and purple tights.

Plan B, grab some robes and get this whole illuminati thing going on. Purple tights probably, (might as well use 'em now you got 'em). See also Dan Brown for reference.

Plan C, my preferred, sit in the back row, and get the students to lecture to you while you heckle, eat, txt, snore, pick your nose, and leave early from a lecture that someone has obviously applied a huge amount of good work to. Purple tights optional.

Plan Indie. Dress up like Indiana Jones. Look dusty, present the lecture, and crack the whip. Ok, you could cut straight to the whip and purple tights for those more excitable students. The captcha word for this is 'brsste' and yeah, seems appropriate. Brsste!!

Dark Orange said...

I was going to suggest the Seth Efrikaan accent till I read the other suggestions.

I hope the "Lecture like a pirate day" takes off.

Snail said...

Yeah, I was leaning towards South African, not least of all because it carries a stronger air of authority than West Country.

But, Lynsey, you've done it again! I have tried lecturing like a pirate but that's only effective if the audience is aware of Talk Like A Pirate Day. It falls flat if you have to explain it. However, we have talked like pirates in our offices. This year, I'm going to amend my name plate to my pirate name.

Not so sure about the superhero theme but I can see a real future in being a member of the Illuminati. Oops. I mean pretending to be a member of the Illuminati.

Perhaps I could demand that some of the more difficult students could be chained up in a dungeon somewhere. Or a catacomb. Hmmm ... that does sound good.

And reversing roles sounds promising. As long as I can turn up late, take mobile phone calls during the lecture and yawn extravagantly from time to time.

As for Indiana Jones ... well ... I've got the hat (if not the whip) and sometimes the theme runs through my mind as I head toward the lecture theatre.

I think I'm going to take these suggestions and use them not only in the lecture theatre but in the staff meeting room ...

Lynsey said...

Dungeons? What's wrong with the good old fashioned ... simple disappeared? And yeah, the staff room, most seem like tombs filled with the dust of centuries - and that's just the coffee machine...I walked through staffrooms as though I was walking underwater. Knee deep in mud. And then one day - well, I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls, and before I knew it, Plan B was well underway...

Sherryl said...

I do like the pirate idea, but my vote would be for the West Country accent, complete with gumboots, cows, a rope and a tractor (to drag out the ones who aren't listening).

Snail said...

Maybe I could run through all the suggestions and compare them. Or be a South African who has lived in Somerset long enough to call everyone 'my lover', and spends the days as a pirate plundering archaeological treasures and the nights planning the establishment of the New World Order.

Or something like that.

Hmmm ... I'm sure there's a film script in that.