Tuesday, 30 August 2016

In passing...


We’re testing this week. Today, the students did group presentations: ‘…and now I’m going to hand over to my colleague Ben, who will show you his piece.’

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Three young Chinese men are looking for room 2.29 of the Harold Shipman Building. They enlist my help. I cannot locate room 2.29, and soon we have decorators, AV support staff and cleaners all combing the same corridor as if looking for a very slim volume on a bookshelf, baffled that there’s a 2.30 but no 2.29. Not even a broom cupboard. I take the three young men to another building that I know has a 2.29, but this is reserved for some seminar for health workers, so I drag them to the Little CHEF (Centre for Hammering English into Foreigners) office and dump them there.  As I am leaving the reception area, one of the young men runs after me to thank me for my help, and thrusts two Kleenex tissues into my hand. My first thought is that I must have dropped them, then, as I joked to a colleague on the stairs, that he was saying ‘have a wank on me’. Then of course I realised that he felt he had to give me something for helping him and his mates locate the elusive room 2.29, and tissues were all he had on him. That’s sweet.


I shall have it given out that it is customary in the UK to reward such selflessness as I displayed this lunchtime with bottles of good single malt and therefore students should carry several at all times.

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