The Faculty of Classics: An Anthropologist’s Report

Editor’s note: A copy of this report was found this morning pushed under the door of the Mycenaean Epigraphy Room; it is reproduced here in its entirety, including the original illustrations. It is unsigned, and the author is unknown; presumably he or she wishes to remain anonymous in order not to jeopardise future fieldwork.

Many an explorer, anthropologist, or documentary-maker has attempted to enter the mysterious land known as the Faculty of Classics in order to study its inhabitants (termed Classicists). Living so long in isolation from the influence of the outside world, this uncontacted tribe must, it is often speculated, have developed its own, completely unique, culture, such as every anthropologist would dream of studying. It was, therefore, a great privilege for me not only to gain access to the Faculty of Classics just a few days ago, but also to witness first-hand one of the most important events of the Classicists’ ritual calendar: the festival known as Graduate Tea.

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Participants in the celebration of Graduate Tea. See below on the ritual significance of the headdresses.

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Overheard in the Common Room: A Play

Scene: The Graduate Common Room. Lunchtime.

Two LINGUISTS are sitting in the Common Room. The FIRST LINGUIST is producing a series of incomprehensible noises.

A NON-LINGUIST enters, hears the FIRST LINGUIST, and assumes an alarmed expression.

The SECOND LINGUIST attempts to reassure the NON-LINGUIST that the FIRST LINGUIST is not, in fact, suffering from some kind of fit.

SECOND LINGUIST: Don’t worry; it’s Bactrian.

The NON-LINGUIST unaccountably fails to look reassured.

Overheard in the Common Room

“Quick! Have an intellectual Classics discussion so we can blog about it!”

(I think this really ought to be the new RG motto)

Post your own ‘Overheard in the Common Room’ (or in the faculty/street/wherever) quotes in the comments! If I overhear enough myself, I’ll make this a regular series – users of the grad common room, you have been warned/issued with a challenge…