Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Teaching time

This last week I have been back teaching students, holding two seminars, one on British History 1815-1924 and the other on Britain in the twentieth century. This was an introductory course for two sets of students on the OPUS course here in Oxford from Azusa Pacific University, which is, I understand, in the outer parts of Los Angeles. This was a very enjoyable series because they were all talented students, who were very well organised to research the topics I set them, and who were also good company. I have taught students from Azusa before and it does seem to attract very likeable recruits, and it is always a pleasure to teach them.

In my comments found I was often delving into my own family history to illustrate topics such as the agricultural depression, women's changing fashion, Nonconformity and temperance (great grandfather Whitehead was very keen on both, but more on him another day) and the fact that they could now say they had been taught by someone whose mother saw a Zeppelin on a bombing raid fly over her home town in 1917...

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