Sleepwalking my way through life: A parting to remember

A parting to remember

“Now,” he said, his upmarket English accent shining through with every syllable, “in English, it’s possible to analyse any text. Whether it be a book, a script for a film, or this…”

He switched on the overhead projector, making the wall behind him light up and a few lines of silhouetted text float in mid air. We read the words slowly before recognition dawned and muffled giggles ran up and down the lecture hall. The lecturer, looking smart in his suit jacket and pinstriped trousers, pulled out a red marker and set to work.

“As always, when it comes to poetry, we mark out how many syllables are in each line; in this one it comes to ten, nine, seven and eight – so we can rule it out as being a sonnet of any kind. However, due to the rhythm we cannot rule out it being a ballad. Now, can anyone well me what we do next?”

The hall was thick with a stunned silence.

“We look at stresses. Starting with the polysyllabic words we can easily determine if there is an organised rhythm. So the only polysyllabic words here are here, here and here,” he said, circling ‘milkshake’ and the two instances of ‘better’. “It’s easy to see that the stress is on the ‘milk’ here, because your wouldn’t get milkshake, and the same for 'better'… but what about this line here?”

He indicated to the third line.

“Would you say it was ‘Damn right’ or ‘Damn right’?” His English accent blatantly obvious at this point “If we follow the pattern, we can see that the poem does follow the pattern of a ballad, as the third line demonstrates: ‘Damn right, it’s better than yours.’”

A few muffled laughs.

“Also, when we’re inferring like this – that’s right, we’re inferring – we can speculate on the meaning behind this poem. It seems to be that this girl makes very good milkshakes, milkshakes that attract a lot of men. And, it seems to be, that she makes milkshakes better than this other girl, who she offers to teach for a charge.”

We all laugh; the lecturer’s naiveté seemingly genuine as he looked at us with his innocently bald head. For a moment I actually thought he believed that the song was only about some girl’s milkshake making abilities, until he started speculating what was meant by milkshake. His gleam of innocence was quickly lost after he gave numerous examples (including felching) as the definition behind it.

Best. English lecture. Ever.
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At 12:38 pm, Anonymous Jules said...

REMOVE the link, it is DISTURBING!

At 1:59 pm, Anonymous Millie said...

Haha! I wish my lectures were as good as that! Maybe I would be paying a bit more attention... :)

At 2:15 pm, Anonymous Kiwi said...

Haha. I'm reliving that very Hugh Grant-esque, English accent right now :D

At 5:52 pm, Blogger Elisabeth Ice Cream said...

I agree with Jules. *brr*

At 8:44 pm, Blogger Maren said...

Haha! That's just.. Freaky.

Brilliant teacher! (My teachers can't speak of stuff like that without blushing. I guess it's not really necessary to say we didn't learn much in our sex&puberty lessons.)


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