Thursday, October 17, 2013

No Doubt I'll Fit Right In

I’ve been absent from my blog lately because of my focus on the paper I’ll be presenting at an Oxford University Roundtable October 22-23. The task was even more demanding than I had originally imagined. I leave for England this weekend.
                The roundtable consists of 13 presenters, 12 of whom (guess who 13 is) are college professors. The topic we’re addressing is “For-Profit Education” and the challenge it presents to contemporary higher education.
                For the past nine months I’ve been preoccupied with researching and writing about a topic I had scant knowledge of this time last year. The university wanted an “outside” opinion, and hence my invitation to attend. So I’ll be standing among Oxford Ph. Ds armed with my diplomas (I may take them with me) from LaSalle and Rider colleges.
                Hopefully, I’ll be seated close enough to King Arthur at the roundtable to ask him some questions that have obsessed me since my youth:
                • Where did you really get Excalibur?
                • Were you offended by the Press referring to the Kennedy administration as “Camelot?”
                • Was Merlin as good as David Copperfield, Doug Henning, or Penn & Teller?
                • What the hell’s a ‘grail’ anyway?
                I don’t want to stick out like an onion ring in a bag of fish and chips, so I’ve begun to (over) use some British terminology in an effort to blend in among the U.K. crowd. I spend as much time as I can in the loo; I’ve packed my bags in the boot of my car; I’ve watched as much British telly as I can, and I now keep my ale in the warming tray of the stove (oh, excuse me, I mean cooker).
                I have a good feeling about this trip. With all this preparation, I think I’m going to fit right in.