Kieran Healy has reached the moment all university teachers fear – the moment where you realise that the students are young and you’re not.
For me, that moment came some years ago when I began having students born in 1983 in my classes – the year I entered university myself. When I started teaching in Copenhagen in 1992, most of the students in my classes were born between 1965 and 1970 and as I recall I was in fact younger than a fifth or a quarter of the class.
But it’s not just being reminded that you are getting ever closer to senility and death that is troubling, you also loose the common points of reference. I mean, I remember that there was such a thing as the Eastern Bloc. I was an adult when the Berlin Wall fell.
Even worse, I have of faint recollection of hearing the news about the Beatles’ breakup. If I turn on the TV and watch MTV today, I’m completely clueless and with good reason: MTV is made for 15-year-olds and I could easily be the father of one.
Could somebody please get a wheelchair and roll me out of the classroom?