Monday, May 19, 2008

Teaching in the green room

I'm teaching a regular class for Birkbeck College at the LSE on a Monday night and I like to get into the lecture room a little bit early to set up. On a couple of occasions, I've been kept waiting because the space is being used as a hospitality suite for a guest speaker who's due to address a large audience in the School's main theatre. I questioned a member of staff about it tonight and he confirmed the use of the space as a "green room", although the usual green-room trappings - PR flunkies, copious amounts of alcohol etc - seem to be absent.

As the LSE attracts a number of high-profile speakers, my hope is that sometime in the next few weeks, I'll barge into the room to find Bill Clinton or former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan making a few last-minute notes. "Oi!", I'll shout. "What do you think you're up to, mate? I've got a class to teach in here. Now sling your hook before I get one of the porters to throw you out."

This evening, it was a Canadian professor of philosophy who'd come to give a lecture in memory of the 19th century sociologist Auguste Comte. I waited patiently outside.

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