Friday, 8 November 2013

O tempora, o mores

Dear God, it's happened, All Souls has decided to become an institution like any other: it has announced the end of the practice of inviting shortlisted Fellowship Examination candidates to dinner on the day of the vivas. That is, no longer will it elect its Prize Examination Fellows according to their ability to suck up to senior barristers ("sometimes, dear boy, you must take the smooth with the smooth") over the port and walnuts. It even expects them, in a half-hearted fashion, to do some work: Fellows working outside academia must maintain active academic interests, albeit in a very part-time fashion. What weasel words in that final phrase, that eat the ones they follow. Magnificent rearguard work in the relevant committee to get them in. It gets worse, or maybe better, but certainly different: the translation paper has become optional, so that to become a fellow in classics you no longer need to know either Latin or Greek. 

"O brave new world, that has such creatures in it." Indeedy doody, Miranda was talking about men.

1 comment:

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