Tales Out Of School

Strange Stories from the Global Classroom
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The Independent Online
Heart to swallow: A senior lecturer in the normally genteel setting of Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education has left his job after showing his students a video of himself cavorting naked in a room while stirring a bucket of pig hearts.

Jordan McKenzie displayed the video to 30 performing arts students, in the name of art and pushing back boundaries. But some students were not as liberal-minded, it would appear, as Mr McKenzie. One woman said: "He pressed `play' and the first thing we saw was him cavorting around the room stark naked. He then took a wooden pole and put it in a bucket which had a pig's heart in it. And then he basically sat on the pole."

This has not exactly gone down well with the directors of the college, who unsurprisingly agreed with Mr McKenzie that he should leave by mutual consent. However, one wonders whether they should have been surprised by his antics. Mr McKenzie has a long history of fondness for porcine organs. Apparently, in Manchester he appeared on stage with a pig heart on a chain around his neck, wearing a set of Dracula teeth.

All Blues: Pity New Zealand's desperate population, suffering the ignominy of watching their famed All Blacks losing to France in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup last week - a game they were expected to win handsomely. To cope with the outpouring of grief, Massey University in Palmerston North is offering counselling to fans.

Experts from the university believe the defeat may have a crushing effect on this rugby-mad nation's psyche. Dr Graeme Bassett says: "People may say it's only a game, but emotionally for many people it's more than that. It is as if the team represents the individual and collective self-worth of the whole country."

The defeat has been seen as one of the last nails in the coffin for Kiwi Prime Minister Jenny Shipley. There's a general election in two weeks' time, and the defeat could finish her off after a run of poor poll ratings, certain to become even worse with arch-rivals Australia winning the final. At least there is someone for her to talk to!

Symphony in `a' stupor: An American university is using the works of Mozart in its latest attempt to stop its students from getting drunk. The University of Pittsburgh has begun playing classical music at high volume across the campus from 10pm until 2am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, hoping that the calming influence of piano concertos will dissuade students from binge drinking and causing noise nuisance late at night.

But will Mozart prove to be the mind-altering elixir that university chiefs hope it to be? It's doubtful to say the least, especially as the university is linking this with a campaign of alcohol-free parties for students. Whoever heard of an alcohol-free student party? And have those who came up with this inspirational idea realised that Mozart's lifestyle, with his hard-living and early death, had more resemblance to Kurt Kobain and Jimi Hendrix than the sober ideal the university is trying to achieve?

Chris Brown