Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Chuffing me off

Clawdd Du

I feel a little guilty about the Sylvia Plath reference in the title, and wish to state that it is not my intention to belittle either the Holocaust or that fine but troubled writer's experiences by using it to refer to the rather more mundane subject on which I'm about to babble. I do remember once, in those Bright College Days, discussing Daddy in a seminar. There was a German girl in the class and the lecturer seemed to have no qualms about asking her what she thought of the Nazi references in the poem. She was rather uncomfortable, as were we, when he asked her about the human skin lampshades and all that stuff. Rather unfairly, I thought, he broadened the discussion to take in the whole post-War German angst thing. She didn't really respond, and neither did anyone else - mostly because the majority of people just wanted to get through the hour and... do nothing, I suppose.

It's something that's always puzzled me, I must say, the lack of participation in seminars when I was at college. I've never really been the most confident person in a group of people, but I would usually say something, however asinine, just to break the silence. 90% of people in the room did not, however, utter word one. Ever. Three years of degree study would pass without any participation whatsoever from them. Odd really.

Anyway, I'm off to the land of Oz on Friday, taking the new Wrexham & Shropshire train from Marylebone. I'm told it's a 'lovely train' and does not require any changes at Birmingham, Wolverhampton, or anywhere else. We shall see if it will be a tidy experience.


Don cake said...

The non-participation of people in seminars is only odd if the education system and the general culture are ignored.
What I mean is, people generally are in no way encouraged to have their own opinions about things. Ones that they've thought through for themselves. Also, we learn from experience that those with power never want to explain themselves and those with less power are encouraged to be stupid in order to keep the system continuing.
And dare I bring up definition of terms...?

b baxter said...

You dare not! And don't speak till you're spoken to.