Monday, 11 August 2014

A typical modern university lecture (in reality, the antilecture)

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[The imaginary and typical antilecturer speaks to his class:]

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. 

Thank you for coming today, that minority who have attended, but everything I am about to tell you has already been posted on the internet for two weeks - so don't worry if you aren't here, because you will not be missing anything. 

And if you can't make it to attend a lecture, or prefer not to come to lectures or whatever - then don't worry because the lectures are recorded so you can listen to or watch them whenever you feel like it. 

And don't worry about looking at the 'powerpoint' slides because I will read them out to you, word for word. I may also say a couple of extra things about them - I'm sorry if I stray from the pre-prepared text due to unprofessionalism - but don't worry, none of the extra things I say will be important: nothing you will be expected to know for the exams! When I do depart from the internet-posted script it will just be a waste of everybody's time, I'm afraid - just try to ignore it, please...

So you do not need to take any lecture notes - but just sit back and watch the slides I am going to show you. In fact, you will not be able to take notes on this lecture, because, in a few moments, I am going to extinguish the lights for the next fifty minutes.

After the lights are out, you will not be able to see me either - because we will all be sitting in the dark. But, don't worry: that is good, because it means the experience of people here and now will be equal to those who watch and listen to the lecture some other time, on video - so nobody will be disadvantaged.

So, don't worry about anything. This is all meant to be soothing, relaxing, unthreatening. Those few of you have have turned-up today don't really need to be here, and you don't really need to watch or listen, and you don't really need to make sure you understand what I am saying - all that stuff can be done later, at your convenience - whenever you feel like it. 

And you won't be at any disadvantage whatever happens - because this lecture has been designed so that those who are not here now, will not be missing anything at all compared to those of you present in this room as I speak. 

Any reason to actually be here, now, with me - in this lecture - has been eliminated.

So now - just sit back and relax in the dark on your comfortable seats: watch the projected images as they flicker before you, listen to my disembodied voice, and enjoy the very best of modern, technologically-enhanced university teaching.

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