Please don't lecture me

Matthew Reeves offers a heart-warming tribute to the hard work of all the British competitors in Vancouver. If only there was a gold medal for ranting...

I don't regret my whole experience of university, just the city and course I chose. Today I had the joy of sitting in front of the world's least capable lecturer. He's called Brian, he's Irish and he's built like an egg on legs. He wears his trousers round his armpits with the help of fetching braces. His thick grey hair defies the laws of physics. He also wears a torch around his neck. That's right, a torch.

I wish I could say his eccentricity added some charm the experience of sitting through his lectures but it absolutely does not. For the first fifteen minutes of the three-hour ordeal I watched him wrestle with the retractable projector screen. After a series of violent yanks at the thing's chord, he tried tying it to a chair. It held (just about), crumpled and bent, reflecting one of Brain's favourite PowerPoint presentations in the direction of the floor. I can only assume it was one of his favourites because he stood gazing at it for the entire lecture, his back to the audience, waving his arms like a demented Thunderbird puppet to punctuate his obscurantist babble.

All I want from my degree is the certificate and some graduation photos for the family. If you could legitimately buy these things without going through the learning-charade then I gladly would. Two and a half hours into Brian's performance I was starting to wonder whether he'd nicked the whole thing from Wikipedia. All my worries were put to rest minutes from the end when Brian spotted that his 104-slide presentation had in fact been incorrect. "Don't worry though, if you buy the textbook it's all in there." At least I won't have to waste my time in the library - I've checked, the book isn't there.

Are all university courses a waste of money? My three grand goes towards lecturers who can't lecture, which is a shame because I know loads of people who can't teach economics, who would do it for a hell of a lot less.

~ Canada seemed like the perfect venue for the Winter Olympics. Maple of syrup and snow are supposed to be their specialities. Imagine the shame of inviting the world to ski on your mountains and then realising you've run out of snow. Still, when it comes to organising a shambles, the British put the rest of the world to shame. The story of SnowSport GB is a case in point.

Just days before the Winter Olympics, this outfit went into administration. What timing! Smack bang in a meeting regarding London 2012 - like an expertly guided curling stone. We can only dream of recreating this kind of flamboyant incompetence in time for 2012. Fingers crossed Paula Radcliffe forgets how to run.

For sheer incompetence, the Canadians are not in our league. They should even make money from the games, which hardly seems sporting. Fortress Investments, who own the Whistler Ski Resort, are set to gain $40m from the Olympics Committee for part-hosting the games and that doesn't even take into account all the other deals that come with putting on a giant international advertising tournament. They do ice-hockey instead of PE lessons in Canadian schools and now they have lots more rinks.

London, by contrast, is the fat lumbering lecturer of the sporting world. We're not interested in the subject. We're never going to put a pole vaulter on the pound coin. The children of Lower Lea Valley and Tower Hamlets aren't going to pop out for a quick hurdle - they're more into the 25-metre, rapid-fire pistol.

Let's hope our athletes win as many medals as possible in Vancouver. If the market in precious metals continues to climb we can cash-for-gold the lot.

Comments