Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Oxford exodus

I think I must have caught something from the pigeons, my guts were churning last night. Not too many side effects apart from insomnia and the lingering taste of Rennies.

So a bit weary this morning when i sat down and stared at the probation forms. The big event of the day, was the visit of yet another researcher from Oxford.
The visit was "informal" and he was here officially to give a seminar. But in the last few months we have had a stream of them sniffing around our campus. At this rate there will be no-one left in Oxford. Will the last one out please turn out the lights. It has been asked, that if Oxford is so good, then why do they want to come here? Well, despite the pigeon guano and bureaucracy, our University has recently made it into the Rough Guide "Attractive Alternatives to the Big 3" book. Although depth of talent can't compare to the big 3, there is a corresponding decrease in the number of egocentric eggheads and public schoolboys. Furthermore the city is quite a pleasant and (compared to London) cheap place to live. Very attractive if you have a young family or if you made too many enemies at all the famous universities.

Our distinguished visitor had a lot going for him. A medic, educated at Cambridge, then Oxford. Worked for a nobel prize winner and more papers in Nature than I've had hot dinners. Apparently quite good on the old joanna too. Makes you sick doesn't it? Clearly very clever but seminar was a bit of jumble of results pulled together for a grand unifying theme. Not entirely convinced. Meeting him in person confirmed he was clever but also somewhat effete. Not sure what our place could offer him, unless it is simply a bluff to get a better deal at Oxford. Shock, horror, who would think of such of thing. Well about 90% of the people who visit us.


Blogger Sister Sunshine said...

What are "rennies"? Is that a British term? Oh... and I couldn't figure out the reference to "old joanna" either. I don't know if it's because I'm American or because I'm just not learned enough to know such things?

12 October 2004 at 22:50  
Blogger Professor Xavier said...

Apologies to transatlantic readers. I type as I think, in English slang. FYI, "Rennies" are minty flavoured indigestion tablets (like TUMS in the US). The "old Joanna" is slang for piano! I am afraid that there will be more slang and reference to country specific products, but hopefully this blog will be educational too!

14 October 2004 at 12:52  

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