Friday, 17 December 2010

at the end of the day

This young man standing at my door, looking slightly dazed, has just been examined on his thesis. It was a two hour analysis of his research by two academic experts and was the culmination of three and a half years of fieldwork, reading, writing, rewriting, rerewriting. He has passed with distinction and I am the first person that he has seen since he stepped out of the room where the viva was held.

I grasp him by the hand and congratulate him...he is Dr now and will never be plain Mr again. We talk about his plans for the future and I know that he will work hard and be successful on whatever road he chooses to travel.

Finally, he gets the bound thesis out of his bag and shows me the front page where my name is included in the acknowledgements. It is completely unexpected and I try to think what I could have done that would be worthy of such a privilege. The only thing that I can think of is that I listened to him and encouraged him.

And I am overcome.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

First Aid for Geographers

Baines and Humphrey killing a crocodile
© Royal Geographical Society with IBG

O People of Blogland
do you remember the mad sock man?
I bring good tidings!
The mad sock man has an older brother
and he comes out of the wilderness
to teach First Aid to Geographers.

Wilderness Man wears three shades of sand:
Gobi sand trousers;
Kalahari sand shirts
and Negev sand waistcoat.
The waistcoat is accessorized with badges multiple
(think of an extreme outdoors organisation
and the badge is there looking weatherbeaten);
carabiners dangle from pockets
and the belt has three pouches of different sizes
which have obviously been hand crafted
from deer? bison? musk ox? that he has shot.
He has different sized multi task tools
for different environments
(city/high altitude/white water rivers)
but they are all useless in comparision
to the handforged knife with carved handle
that has travelled with him since he was a lad.
His mates have all served in Special Forces
and so he can do surgery
using only gaffer tape and pieces of roll mat.
It is a matter of minutes to make a stretcher
out of 40m of rope and some pebbles.

Wilderness Man introduces himself and then begins:
"First, you must assess the scene...
if your casualty has been attacked by a rogue crocodile
you are in immediate danger
and your priority is to send someone with a shotgun
to kill the crocodile and make the scene safe...."

MrsM sighs and leans back in her seat.
At last...a first aid course
that is suitable for her needs

original post

Friday, 10 December 2010

Future Uncertain

"The government has survived a revolt by Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs over its plans to increase university tuition fees in England. The policy was approved by 21 votes, with the coalition's majority cut by almost three-quarters following an impassioned five-hour Commons debate. Three ministerial aides quit the government in order to vote against it. The coalition motion, backed by 323 votes to 302, would raise fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year."

extract from BBC report, Thursday 9 December 2010


And now, the Department
must learn to live
in this Brave New World.

original post

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It must be Christmas...

...there are silver stars and tinsel;

fairy lights and streamers...

and lo!

the Department Office
has been converted into
a Daniel Craig grotto.

original post