22nd June 2010

All examiners meetings are a little formal. If you were to take a rigourously functional view of the proceedings, this is because certificating is really all that teachers do, so as examining is what really guarantees us our salaries we take it very seriously. More charitably a little formality is essential for a moment at which potentially life changing decisions are made. I am touched by the expressions of gratitude both by Zyg Baranski, the director of the course, and Martin Ruehl the Chair of Examiners. They are partly a ritual formality but they make me feel that I have contributed to the launch of this new degree.
Afterwards we lunch very pleasurably. I knew that Zyg was a world expert on Dante but I didn’t realise that he was a Manchester United fan so dedicated that he had, on occasion, flown back from Australia to catch a game at Old Trafford. It is always a great pleasure for me to see David Trotter who was one of the driving forces behind this new degree. I have known him since we were both Research Fellows at Cambridge. His work is always of interest mixing incredibly wide ranging scholarship with pertinent and incisive comment. At the end of the lunch I am given DVDs of Dreyer and Murnau. A good day’s work

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