Friday, December 30, 2005

Well, bugger (which incidentally is the first word I ever uttered much to my mother's embarrassment and coincidentally will be my final word as I realise at the age of 103 that I've just flicked my cigar onto the petrol tank of my powerboat). I seem to have shot myself in the foot with my own petard, if you'll allow me to mix metaphors in order to give a sense of how much I feel I've dug my own grave. I've been attempting to get the group active, confident, enthusiastic, motivated and, believe it or not, it seems after much prodding and poking to be working (I have an almost full seminar time table until April). However, when asked "do I want to give a performance at the spring festival party?", my heart sank as I realised what I'd done. It would be ultimately hypocritical of me at this point to say "well, emmm, actually I don't really enjoy performing or being on stage much" (even though I've given four hours of seminars since I arrived), I fear I must follow my own gospel.

It's a fact, about as factually factive as facts get that I sure as hell ain't gonna sing (their first request) and I ain't gonna dance (their second - something I'm happy to do in a club but not on my own in front of 300, yes 300 physicists, students and families). I would juggle but I think that what with the Chinese being placed closely behind the Russians at being a bit nifty with the old clubs, I wouldn't impress anyone. So as far as I can think, with my clothes staying firmly on, the only thing left is to read something. My first thought which actually quite appeals is to read either Edward Lear or Lewis Carol. I think it's going to have to be The Walrus and the Carpenter or The Jabberwocky. Not sure how nonsense poetry will go down with people who have no idea what I'm saying most of the time anyway. This could go one of two ways...watch this space.

12 comments:

TH said...

...horrible mental image of you on stage, juggling naked whilst reciting nonsense poetry to a roomfull of shocked Chinese professionals and their families.... Christ!

Durka P. Ohm said...

Biscuit, I've made enough of a tit of myself infront of enough people in enough different ways over the years to realise that it's never as bad as you imagine it'll be. Get up there and give it a go. You might even enjoy it...

Sara said...

ooh. i feel i've found myself in this situation before, though i can't locate specifics in memory. the nonsense poetry is a great idea. it's the sound of it that matters anyway, no matter the native language of the listener. that's my vote. good luck.

have good holidays!

Kayossity said...

And you think that embarrassing yourself in front of 300 people is a problem when you have just displayed some of the less magnificent efforts at motherhood for the entire world to read. I have it on good authority that the reason a certain word was your first was because a certain reeking rolling infant was constantly squirming when in the medieval days of terry nappies very large and painful pins were used to hold them together and in a motherly effort to protect your backside a protective thumb was constantly being pranged. Hey I like this chance to embarrass you back!

Jonathan Shock said...

th - If I've gotta do it, I may as well do it in style. A fine suggestion and one which will surely make my name in the theoretical physics community.

dpo - You are absolutely correct, I'm kinda looking forward to it. The times I've pushed myself to do things that scare me a little or a lottle have almost without exception been highly rewarding. Seems like the perfect opportunity.

Sara - yes, I've heard poetry recited in Indian and Thai before both of which were fascinating because of the pace and flow of the language. I would read some John Hegley if I didn't think that any of his poetry read by anyone but him didn't sound like a slightly poor imitation.

Kayossity - even the other side of the world, via this wonderful digital age you attempt to fulfil your duty of embarrassment. This time I remain unaffected but I shan't push it in the knowledge that your capacity to do so is almost without bounds.

Mr Nice said...

Well I hope no one understands you and what's that I hear? The faint noise of rolling tumbleweed.....

Major Archibald Lummersby III said...

Happy New Year Shockolate! That will be all.

Wrapped up in books said...

I hope the evening was successful. I'd love to see the reaction of the audience to Lewis Carroll!!

Jonathan Shock said...

emm, Mr Nice, whoever you may be, a happy new year to you too and thank you for the vote of confidence.

M.A.L III - A very happy New year to you too. We shall chat soon I've no doubt.

P - It's in a couple of weeks, enough time for me to get fully wound up about it. Anyway, all part of life's rich pattern.

Mr Nice said...

I have no idea who I am either, The Biscuit. Happy New Year by the way, chat soon on MSN

Aardvark said...

If you're doing it in a lecture theatre, can you not demonstrate your inate talent for folding record-breaking paper aeroplanes?

Jonathan Shock said...

'tis a possibility. Though I'm currently thinking which Spike Milligan poem will confuse the largest number of Chinese professors.