LETTER: Case for exams

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The Independent Culture

Case for exams

Sir: I am a 38-year-old, comprehensive-educated, working mother. I did a PhD at a college for mature women when my children started school, and am now the admissions tutor at another all-women Cambridge college. I wasn't surprised when I didn't recognise myself or my colleagues in Bidisha's depiction of Oxbridge dons, "sat in their dining room mumbling `Ah, yes, now how to get some more of these ... these poor people into the colleges.' " ("Dreaming spires come tumbling down", 20 August).

I did, however, feel inexplicably hurt. Sorry if I've missed the joke. It's just that after a heartbreaking day on the phone consoling disappointed applicants and agonising with colleagues over decisions - not mumbling in the dining room but crying in it - my sense of humour has deserted me.


Newnham College