In the beginning there was Sussex…

…and the spirit of the Vice-Chancellor hovered over the face of the water. Then He took the days of the week and He changed them: Thursday, He called Monday. Wednesday, He called Friday. And He saw the new structure of the academic year, and it was good. And there was evening and there was morning: and even so, Sussex dropped two places in a league table.

“…contrary to the Pointless Innovations (Rolling Out) Act 1961.”

Yes, this is the news that, from September, our teaching weeks will start on a Thursday and end on a Wednesday, because that is a system much more sensible and intuitive than the current one whereby they run from Monday to Friday.

At a meeting of the University Senate (or, at any rate, according to the “full extract” [er what?] which was released from the minutes), the impressively titled “Pro-Vice-Chancellor” for Teaching & Learning decided that the principle of the weekend coming at the end of the week was rather outdated and not suitable for Sussex’s unique position.

Professor Clare Mackie has also announced plans to abolish November, adopt the ancient Mayan calendar and start spelling ‘Sussex’ Psussex.

Meanwhile, this Monday (Wednesday in new money) was of course the May bank holiday, and the Library was closed because of what the University calls – with refreshing honesty – a “minimum service day.” Although various services seem pretty minimal during the rest of the year too. And on that point…

The Porter’s dairy*

*[sic] as found last week in a Lewes Court wheelie-bin by Gabriel Webber

My place of ‘work’

MONDAY
Regret going through calendar and marking every Monday ‘bank holiday’ becouse it made me late for work again. When I got in at 11:30 my kettle was broken and when I called the Estates Office to send over a new one they had the nerve to say they were on a coffee break and I’d have to wait!! I hate it when that happens. When I got back from lunch at 4, I made a new yellow sign to put up when I go to have my teabreak in the afternoon. I was drawing each each letter in a different colour but then I had to stop when Parcelforce turned up. Bastards.

TUESDAY
Worked off my arse all day, barely managed to find 3 hours for lunch. Some girl wandered in at 11 because a lightbulb in her room had gone and apparantly the tenancy ‘agreement’ says it’s my job to do something about it. I told her I’d stand up to get one off the top shelf later in the day but she wanted me to screw it (wahheyy!!) in as well. Boys never ask me to fit there lightbulbs for them and even when they do ask I don’t do it. Its only girls who can’t do it for themselves.

WEDNESDAY
Day off! Doesn’t actually say in my contract I can not bother coming in today but someone wrote it on my calendar in my handwriting so it must be OK.

THURSDAY
Took the morning off so when I arrived it was immedietly time for my lunch. I left the metal hatch up with the DO NOT DISTURB sign when I came back because there was no need to take it down but it didn’t stop some student from banging on it and asking for the thing Parcelforce left on Tuesday. Can’t he read???

FRIDAY
Some w***er used a vacum cleaner to prop open their door today!! They might think I’m quite a layed-back sort of person but I will not put up with my equipment being abused like that. I began sending them a memo but got distracted and started on my rubber band ball project, which is basicly a project to make  a ball of rubber bands. I’d made my ball of rubber bands at least 8 inches wide but then that boy from Block 4 with the cameraphone came in so I quickly hid it out of site. I don’t think he noticed it.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject…

Porter:“So I said, what do you want his ’phone number for? And he said, ’cos I want to ’phone him […] And then as he walked out the door, I said, I didn’t want to f***ing help you anyway!”

Dinner with the stars

The Ambassador’s place is at the head of the table…

Our wee JSoc committee has just successfully survived our second Shabbat dinner, shopping, cooking and serving 20 people in the Brighton Hillel Centre (the precise location of which, obviously, although for less-than-obvious reasons, cannot be disclosed).

Anyway, just to highlight some of the less tedious aspects of this process, I’ve shamelessly plagiarised the Sherman brothers and present, below, a new version of that well-known hit The Roses of Sussex – lyrix here.

Houses under the hammer

As m’learned lecturers have taught me, quantitative and qualitative analysis are both important research methods. To put my skills to the test, I’ve done some comparative research focussing on Lewes Court (where students live) and the UN Detention Centre (where convicted war criminals and genocide-mongers live). Here are my results:

Qualitative analsysis – click to enlarge

Quantitative analysis – click to enlarge

Gabriel of Arabia

Very original setting for a synagogue portrait

As a loyal teacher of Hebrew at Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, I was asked to pose for a photograph wearing a kippah in the library (sounds vaguely like Cluedo…) for the brochure. More worryingly, I was asked to provide “a biography.”

I sent them a copy of my dairy from when I was in India – in the tradition of that epic Memoirs of my Indian Career – but apparently they were looking for something briefer and with less focus on Tamil politics.

Sussexballs: £9000 per annum paid for contributionsNo-one should talk in absolutes.”

“We’re all so over-determined to be alive. If we don’t eat, we’re going to die. If we didn’t have chairs in here, we’re probably going to lie down.”

“They’re European or German or French or something like that.”

[Very well-prepared seminar tutor…] “Can anyone sum up the important things you think I need to know about this topic?”

“Globalisation is about a worldwide phenomenon in one sense.”

“I’m sure that at least some of you will have heard of Marxism…”

“There is a pyramid of things rather than a basket of things.”

“Your research report is to be submitted in week 4 of the summer term to the school office by 4pm.” [By 4pm of week 4. Right.]

“There is a coincidence here which isn’t entirely unconnected.”

Keynote speech
In tonight’s episode, tradition was broken with by Professor Clare Mackie. The people in the kippot having their photos taken in libraries are various stereotypical rabbis. The Porter’s dairy wasn’t, strictly speaking, found in a wheelie-bin. My last Badger article of this year, on the Brighton human rights conference, can be found here. This was an Gabrielquotes production.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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