Category Archives: humour

Research in the Archives

Most of the last session I was doing some research for an oncoming project. Archival research is a bit different than library research, the type I used to do for my studies. The archives are mostly first-hand material, raw data that is not ready for direct consumption. In other words, you can write your material based on the data found in the archives, but before you’ll get to the things you need, you’ll dig through everything else that is vaguely related to it. It may be relevant or not really, but it will consume your time nonetheless. What is interesting is that generally, people have no idea how the things stand, cue requests that need to be completed in a few days, but they are better suited for dissertation and involved. Example:
A request comes for a one-page of notes on history of turtle washing. But even if we have materials that pertain to the history of turtle washing. what exactly should that be? Marjon’s alumni that were known to wash turtles? The history of Marjon turtle-washing clubs? The involvement of the community in turtle washing around Plymouth? There is a short article about it in the old magazines and a newspaper clipping from the 70s’. Here is a picture of turtle with a shiny shell, will that do?
A vague request for a few notes might turn to hours of digging through articles, documents, pictures, books, recordings and various other materials more or less related to the topic- a single request that will consume hours of research, not to mention preparing the notes themselves. And finally, instead of asking for notes, why not to come to the archives yourself and do the work yourself if the clean chelonians are so important to you?

Leave a comment

Filed under humour, inner workings, musings

Students’ Cuisine, courtesy of Marjargon

I wrote about Marjargon before, a rather humorous student’s newsletter. Today I would like to point to the recipe that was printed in one of the issues. Because students have little in way of income and a lot in way of expenses(books, writing supplies, party essentials…) there is always need to be
creative with cooking. Here is how to make potatoes and beans, courtesy of Marjargon:
Ingredients:
2 potatoes,
A can of beans
1.Take wrapper off can.
2. Put can on hot ring
3. Puncture can (Very important, unless you want beans on the ceiling and shrapnel wounds)
4. Heat Can
5.Put potatoes into oven, Regulo HOT
6.Leave Kitchen.
7. Have a fag.
8. Return to kitchen.
9. Open tin
10. Remove potatoes from oven.
11. Dip potatoes in beans at leisure.

Photo1394

And there you have it- students’
cuisine at its finest:-)

Leave a comment

Filed under humour

Just joking

Photo1360Well, remember what I said about my contributions to the archives? My first impression of Marjon, the programme I got when asking too many questions and the memories of my classmates? Well, there is this one more thing. I once brought a bottle of a homemade drinking mead, an old Viking recipe…and it’s still standing on a shelf within the archives. One hundred years more and it will be delicious😊

 

Leave a comment

Filed under humour

Falling Debris

Sometimes the archives seem to be a catch-all for random stuff that gets cleared out from somebody’s office. Like this issue of Executive Post- a publication from PER.

‘So what?’ you could say. ‘Shouldn’t the university be in possesion of those?’ Certainly, but this particular issue is exactly as old as I am. Uh-oh, somebody is way behind cleaning in their office.:-)

Photo1124[1]

On unrelated note: hey, PER people! Do you have anything that this starving artist could do?:-P

Leave a comment

Filed under artefacts, humour, inner workings, long time ago, random stuff

Singing Over a Cockroach

There are many stories in the archives. Stories of great deeds, even if they were never recognized in the wide world. Stories of great minds, the thinkers and the doers. Stories of ideas, great and small. But the stories I enjoy the most are stories of student’s hijinks. Today’s story is from the memories of N. S. Curtis, who was a Marjon student in the years 1931-34. He later became a teacher and a principal of Landsdownre Boys’ School, Linwood Boys’ School and Soar Valley Community College. We have many of his things, including a blazer, a tie, some exercise books and photos. But the most interesting for me are anecdotes from his time in Marjon. One of them seems to me like an absurdist sketch.
The food in Marjon at that time was far from perfect. In fact it was really basic and plain. One day, after dinner, the boys were served rice pudding. Instead of it being completely plain, there were raisins in it. That was something unheard of. But the joy was short-lived as somebody found a cockroach in the pudding. The offending insect was put on a plate and passed to the teachers’ table, to the attention of the principal. The principal himself rose from his seat, ordered Non Nobis to be sung and the meal ended. Many boys were absolutely convinced that the cook knew of the roaches infesting the pudding and added the raisins as a camouflage. As for me, I can’t get rid of the image in my head of the whole school singing a hymn over a body of a dead insect resting on a plate:-)

Leave a comment

Filed under humour, long time ago, people

Irregular post

Due to the fact that I felt like a vampire squid for the most of this week(look them up, they can turn themselves inside out!) there will not be a regular post. Instead, here is a picture from one of Marjon publications, commenting on the mixed styles of the buildings on the campus:

Photo0710

Leave a comment

Filed under humour, Uncategorized

Awkward Marjon Photos

Ugh! The doom and gloom of November is getting to me, so this time I decided to find something to laugh about. And since the archives always provide, here are the most awkward Marjon photos taken from the prospectuses. Most of those come from the prospectuses published in the 70’s. Something about the disco era that make them stand out. Weird.

Of course this is just a selection and there is much more where those came from. I guess where is history and photography there will always be awkward photos. Is that you on one of those? Recognized anyone? Tell me all about it!

Leave a comment

Filed under humour, photos

Bank Weirdness

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:-)

bankads4 001Then 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?

bankads3 001Hammurabi playing cricket.

bank ads 001And last but not least- a free book that cost three p. Is it me or the advertisements used to be really weird?

banks ads2 001

Leave a comment

Filed under humour, long time ago, random stuff

Ostriches on campus

This is a very small post, due to some unforeseen circumstances that prevented me from proper research in the past week. But excuses aside, here is the Chelsea Ostrich:

Before the big move in 1973 from Chelsea to Plymouth, the people were not extremely excited about the change. I can’t really blame them, for the most people the change is scary and seeing so many years of tradition and memories going through irrevocable transformation must be even harder. But for ostriches the change is something that, if ignored, will eventually go away. As an illustration of the mood on campus, one of the newsletters printed this image:

The Chelsea Ostrich

The Chelsea Ostrich

What can I say, I didn’t know that Marjon was accepting ostriches at some point:-)

Leave a comment

Filed under humour

Marjargon

The meeting against Racism and Facism poster. 'Be there!' or else

The meeting against Racism and Facism poster. ‘Be there!’ or else

At one point there were plenty of Marjon-made publications. From the official and professional-looking ones like Marjon Magazine and Cremorne review, to the button-and-string–budget, self-made newspapers like Ladle and the Marjargon. And the last one is the one we got our hands on recently. And the Marjargon is one that transcendents the typical humorous publication. I really wish we had more of those, but I guess those home-brewed project don’t stand well against the test of time.
Everything is a joke here, the editorials are full of banter between the editors, the headers marking the columns are housing puns and wordplays and the reader’s letters are way too bizarre to be real. For example, there was one that logically and with great arguments, went on to reason that the Youth Hostel Association is run by the Illuminati and why you should avoid shelter in their hostels during your holidays. The ‘Dailemas’ column contains congratulations

Che Guevara and exec reports. And the connection is...?

Che Guevara and exec reports. And the connection is…?

and commiserations, but very unlike any you ever read. A notable example: ‘Congratulations to the clever bugger who tried to break into the fruit machine and snapped the key off in the lock- it takes a thief not a pillock.’ Even the events advertisements are a bit surreal. The poster for debate about the facism and racism had a stern ‘Be there!’ order printed below the info.
The only thing that was half-serious is the strong influence of the ’80 Marjon Anti-Nuclear Society, that just restricted itself to printing satirical cartoons…well most of the time. In fact I’ll try and see if I can find something more about. And for the love of cheezburgers, can someone tell me why there is Che Guevara in the Execs report ’80-81?

Leave a comment

Filed under humour, long time ago