Retelling What the Thunder Said


A friend told me once how his mathematics teacher had staggered into class blind drunk one morning. He’d stood, swaying, with his eyes closed before announcing a challenge in a booming country accent to his mute and terrified congregation, “Which one of ye’s is man enough to get up and fight me?” The pupils were 12, maybe 13 years of age. The teacher was eventually ushered off into indefinite sick leave (‘nervous exhaustion’) and the matter was not spoke of again. There is at least some degree of trembling schadenfreude to a teacher or lecturer having a meltdown, not at the poor bastard involved directly but at the relief that it isn’t happening to us. This, however, is still not the worst example of a lecture I can think of.

Outside of school, I haven’t had a great deal of experience with literature academically; the only third level education I…

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