Sunday, February 04, 2007

Aloha from Lecture Hall 06


Isn't this the most frightening sight you've ever seen? That's right, it's a typical Germany university lecture hall - a little bit ratty, concrete everywhere, no windows, a box in a building of boxes. This is where I spent much of my life when I studied (in Munich) and it's where professors still spend most of their lives. A nightmare...

And the perfect spot for a pseudo-academic lecture about the "Aesthetics of Nagging."

For my book "Planet Germany" I wrote a pseudo-scientific treatise on that subject and sent it off to 20 universities with the request that they install a new professorship for the Aesthetics of Nagging at their institute with me as its head. Of the 20, I got 5 replies back, and of those, 3 were funny.

Of those three, one - the Frankfurt University - invited me to give an open lecture on the foundations of the aesthetics of nagging, which I did Thursday (Feb. 1). It was the best public performance I have given so far. The lecture hall - Hall 06 of the philological faculty (FB09) - was full (this photo was taken as we began setting up), everyone was in the mood for laughing at themselves and when, at the end of my lecture, I repeatedly demanded of the dean (professor Vossen) that he install a professorship for me, everyone broke out into applause.

Didn't help, though - I still don't have one.

But for a guy like me, who was not necessarily the best student, and who only made it to his Master's (in Munich), it was quite a thrill to be able to give an scholarly lecture in one of the same rooms that had tortured me all my student life.

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