For today’s class we had another guest speaker. She was from a publisher. She looked about 15 but was clearly older…given her job title and the fact she was coming to a university to tell us what her company did and how. She was very quiet.
The room we use on Fridays is not that big and there would be about 30 of us in it. Still, it was hard to hear her. I was in the second row, about ten feet from her. She was quiet. I’m sure the people at the back (five rows back) were lip reading or missing everything.
What she had to say would have been interesting if we’d been able to hear it properly. It always takes too much energy to concentrate on a quiet voice. So much, in fact, that you start to not understand the language.
Anyway, her lack of volume was further pronounced each time the lecturer asked her a question or interjected as he was a LOT louder. I’m assuming she won’t be asked back because she was so quiet. At least I hope so, for the sake of next years students.
Things managed to turn nasty when the loud mouthed American of the class decided to quiz the speaker.
“So, how much does your company make each year?” She asked loud and brashly.
“Um, I’m sorry, but we can’t discuss that,” She said quietly.
“What do you mean? You are funded by the public. You have a responsibility to tell me!” Raged the American
“But we’re not funded. We’re a private company.” She whispered
“You’re paid by universities who are funded, therefore you are funded. You HAVE to tell me!”
At this point, the lecturer stepped in by standing up and speaking loudly.
“I think you’ll find that the publisher is a privately owned company and has many people paying them money. University libraries are a large part of their customer base but by no means the only one,” He said.
This seemed to satisfy the loud mouthed American. At least I thought so. As I left after the lecture, she was just in front of me and speaking to a pair of students. She was complaining loudly about how pathetic the girl had been and how she deserved an answer to her question. I’m sure her parents would be very pleased with their little girl, given every second word was vulgar.
A voice beside me said “Boy, she’s clearly having a bad day.” I turned and agreed with another of the students.
This brightened up an otherwise dull Friday at school. And then, to top it all off, as I left the uni, a massive group of Moslems held an outdoor, mass prayer thing, complete with mats and knowing the direction of east. There were lots of people watching and photographing it. There were also placards proclaiming their right to pray. Watching it, briefly, made me wonder why they need a mosque. It’s different for Christians, they have to sit down.