I had somehow secured a job as a Critical Theory lecturer. Which was grand; help kids learn, damn good pay… except I didn’t have a clue what Critical Theory was.
For some reason I hadn’t turned it down, and I found myself at the front of the lecture theatre, waiting nervously for the students to file in. They arrived far too quickly for me to Google anything about the subject, so I’d have to blag my way through. Critical theory. Looking at stuff critically? I could do that.
Soon every pair of eyes was on me, and I felt the obligation to speak. I paced in the front row and made exotic hand gestures. That would make me seem a confident and well-rounded lecturer. Yeah. I’d seen other lecturers do it.
“Hi I’m Claire… Erm.. This is the first Critical Theory lecture so erm… welcome! I thought we could start by saying a bit about ourselves.”
Nice one, Claire! That’d kill at least a good half an hour.
“So yeah… we can say our name, favourite TV shows, that kind of thing. So uh… I’ll start. My name is Claire… I like Doctor Who, Merlin, Heroes, that sort of thing…”
At the mention of Doctor Who, there were murmurs of approval from the students.
“Oh right yeah, we should probably say what books we’re currently reading too. I’m in the middle of…”
But they were already no longer listening to me. They were all now discussing Doctor Who, too loudly for me to be heard. I tried to get them to listen but they were having none of it. I slumped against the whiteboard. I merged with it into the background.
Eventually everyone got up and left, all happy and talking and completely disregarding my existence. I think my rather timid lecturing style had received the ultimate criticism.