We used to be a ‘monastic-type’ school. What do I mean by that? Of course in the medieval times there were schools attached to monasteries and the monasteries themselves had schools to educate young monks. But that’s not what I mean.
A proposed puilding back in Chelsea
The ‘monastic’ is gone, the cloister remains
In Kay-Schuttleworth’s and Coleridge’s times that would mean that the school should be an environment that would eliminate all distractions from the studies. What would that mean in practice? A lot of discipline, rules and schedules. The school would be an isolated place where time was highly organized and occasional breaks from studying would be filled with manual work and every hour in a student’s life would be accounted for. Ugh:-). Things got better with time, but even in the 50’s, the ‘monastic’ was very much alive- doors closing at 10, walls around the campus, no women students, just like in Mike Ford’s stories.
So nowadays the discipline is gone, but the ‘monastic’ is still present like a shadow of a monk in a haunted monastery. Look closely at this picture of a proposed building in the campus of St Mark College. See that bit with the columns running alongside the building? That’s called cloister, a part that is traditionally included in monasteries.
We’re now far away both from the monastic beginnings of education and from the ‘monastic-style’ schools. However, the ‘monastic’ still lives in the architecture of ~Marjon. With the move to Plymouth they made sure we still have a cloister even that it is modern-looking (well, retro-modern nowadays:-)). It is one of my favourite features of the campus, it allows you stay dry when moving from one building to another even if it rains cat and dogs and horses or just enjoy rain without a drawback of being wet. Next time you’re walking from the shop to the library, take note why we have that convenient route.:-)
Ah, the summer nearing its end. Those who enter their universities this year have(hopefully) already finished their Student Finance applications and await the money they are entitled to. Gone are the days when one had to write to the bank managers for their beer money. Well, gone but not forgotten:-).
But what about the banks themselves? Well, skimming through the Cremorne Review(which you might remember as once a platform for the literary creations of Marjon’s students) I stumbled upon some strange bank advertisements. And here they are in their off-beat glory:
First one that caught my attention was this…um, fairy:-)
Then there is a beatnik chomping on a shoestring. I wasn’t yet born in the 60’s. Was it normal for a person like this to have a candle on top of the head?
Hammurabi playing cricket.
And last but not least- a free book that cost three p. Is it me or the advertisements used to be really weird?
John explains the machine
Last week we had a visitor from the Devon Family History Society. John brought to us a
large photographical stand that the Society kindly leant to us. The whole setup consists of the rig that keeps a camera in place, a flat surface that serves as shooting area and a separate set of very strong, halogen lights. The camera can be connected wirelessly with a computer and one can shoot pictures without even approaching the stand. Why do we need it? Well, I am happy to say that our digitization project is about to go ahead. First on the list are the objects and documents
that concern the WW1 and Marjon. If we hurry up we will have everything
done before the Memorial Day.
When I wrote about our war memorials a year back, there was this one thing I changed in my behaviour. I no longer pass the plaques, monuments and other memorials indifferently. There is something about standing and writing down the names that make you realize that it is exactly what they are for- reading the names that are written on them. And maybe this is a little bit out of the subject of this blog, but nonetheless I wanted to write something about what happened to me recently:
I was walking by the Torquay war memorial the other day and noticed a curious thing. The monument is surrounded by a low fence, a chain strung along stone posts. I came closer, looking for a way inside. I don’t have eagle’s eyes, and the writing on the plates are barely visible from behind the chain. But there is no break in the chain-fence. I can’t approach and read the names on the plaques. And what exactly is this fence keeping out? Alright, I am (fairly) able-bodied, and can cross this fence with one stride, but what about those who can’t? Can’t an older or disabled person read our memorial? The Torquay war memorial is thus defunct- it doesn’t work as it should if we can’t read the names. And if we can’t read the names, why is it even there?