A Professor and his Student

Oh, I’ve been bad the past few weeks, devoured by that old devil we call laziness, unable to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, such was the infirmity of my malaise, coupled with an extra-large dose of procrastination. And did I get anything else done? Nope, went out and had fun is all I managed to do, but hey, what else is life for? No, please don’t answer that one, answers to questions like that tend to scare me.

I did, however, manage to stick to my jogging routine, and am pleased to report that my breathing is now within acceptable parameters. The swine flu jab didn’t have any side-effects, at least, not on my part, but my wife is complaining of Gulf-syndrome after reading that the vaccine contains similar adjuvants given to soldiers who fought in the Gulf war. Symptoms are the need to sleep a lot and a ravenous appetite. I’m not so sure myself…

I also managed to get one poem down, after waiting to meet some friends in a café. Here, I couldn’t help watching an academic talking to a student about one of his papers, and immediately jotted down the start of a poem. I’ve polished it up a little, and you can read it here.

Talking about the Gulf war reminds me about another little theatre, namely Afghanistan. Obama has chosen to take in another thirty thousand troops, to try and stabilize the country and move on out. Noble gesture, sure, but I think people should start reading their history books before they go to war in Afghanistan. Up until now a war with or in Afghanistan has simply meant the end of an empire. The Brits had a go, and got their arses well and truly kicked, the Russians tried, and we all know what happened there. All I can say to America and Nato is, well, don’t go there. Be creative, find another way. Legalize heroin so you cut the bottom out of the market – no money, no weapons, no problem. Send in missionaries, send food, send money, send anything, but don’t send more soldiers – they’ll only get sent back…

That’s it for now – I promise I’ll try and be a little more diligent and keep up the weekly posting, but sometimes, you just got to go out there and have fun!

I was wandering around the Hamburg University Campus yesterday, and came up with this little ditty. Probably a bit myopic due to my old aching bones and innate jealousy of all things young…


A gaggle of students,
Macs at hand, phones to ear,
Laughter their symphony.

A single lone woman,
Bright young face frown furrowed,
Eyes in a book burrowed.

Tell me, did we do this?
Books, once revered and precious,
Today, sold by the pound.

Have you paid enough?
Knowledge, one time priceless,
Now, bartered to the hounds.

Are you vapid enough?
Reading so much googling,
analysis tweeted.

No worksheet on Ezra?
Simplicity is the rule,
The cud of Enlightenment.

Or was it always so?
Complexities of knowledge,
Kept enshrined for the few.

© andrew rossiter 2009