Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Of gentlemen, flirting and whisky

A recent email from Mansfield asking for recollections about the tutorial system prompted the following. These might surface in the future; then again, they might not.

Despite my best efforts (turning up hungover; breathless from having run out of the Rad Cam precisely three minutes before; 9am Monday morning starts - by my own choice) I generally enjoyed my weekly or bi-weekly intellectual ju-jitsu sessions. Thankfully by the third year, I had sort of figured out what I needed to do to at least appear conscious in them. Some notable occasions stand out:

* Being told that, "A gentleman never calls a tutorial before midday." On a Thursday morning. At 8.30am.
* Being introduced to Irish whisky, over an early evening chat about the perils of journalism and the delights of the eighteenth century novel
* Spending a term trying to focus on the delights of 'The Makioka Sisters', while trying not to be distracted by the radiant delights of my tute partner from Somerville. (I failed, naturally.)

At times they could be brutal - I used to curl up with a noxious fear before my British History I sessions, knowing that they would be an unmitigated disaster - but more often than not they were (and remain) some of the most free-wheeling, wide-ranging and stimulating conversations I've ever had.


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