Sunday, November 24, 2013


So there's a place that they go to practice fabrication?  It must be quite busy at this time of year - all those deceased grandmothers, unspecified family crises, sudden bouts of flu or foodpoisoning, and the ubiquitous non-functioning printer.  To be fair, USC students - maybe I've just been lucky - seem to be far less extensive or inventive with their reasons for not coming to class than were Rutgers ones.  I think this has a great deal to do with the fact that far far fewer of them work off campus - no having to cover for someone else's Red Lobster shift out of anxiety for losing their own job; many more of them live on or very close to campus - far fewer car breakdowns (and the weather is better - no "I don't like to drive in the snow."  Which, in any case, was understandable).  And the fact that very few students seem to live at home means that they don't suddenly get saddled with looking after younger siblings, or grannie.  Come to think of it, these were all quite reasonable reasons for not turning up ... it's a good few years since I experienced the full range of inventive Oxford fabrications ... my friend opened the window and it rained on my paper ... I know I shouldn't have had a dog in my room, but he knocked the plug out of the wall and the computer crashed ... I couldn't get to class on time because the truck in front of me dumped a whole lot of manure on the road and we couldn't drive past.  Actually, this last was not an excuse ever used to me, but it was one that I remember being employed by a student from Worcester College who had a tutorial before me, on Fridays, with Dorothy Bednarowska.  And we were very angry that she believed him, when I'm sure that she wouldn't have believed any of the St Anne's girls.

I realized that I hadn't thought about that particular student for - oh, thirty seven or so years ... and decided to google him, just now, to see what became of him.  Perhaps that manure story was true.  He's now in the Cairngorms, breeding Highland Cattle - including a prize four year old bull owned by the Queen.  Truly, I couldn't have made that one up.

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