Living in a material world … And I am a material girl … (1)

There once was this evening course that I was desperate to take. It was taught by a mad professor. That’s what people called him because of his hair (in competition with Einstein’s) and his teaching style (pure digression). While a psychologist, he was a philosopher and a historian at heart.

I met him in 2002 when I went to Birkbeck for a foundations in psychology class just before I went back to school (as we Americans say) to get a degree in it.

I never took the evening course that I so badly wanted to take because by the time the professor mentioned it to us, it was no longer on offer.

It would’ve been helpful had he included that detail in his mentioning, but he didn’t and so I kept an eye out for it in each new edition of Floodlight. I even wrote to him years later inquiring about whether the course might be on offer in the future, but I never heard back.

From a few straggly personal comments he threw into some of his lectures, it seemed that our professor once had a major car accident and that his entire body had to be re-built over the course of a year in hospital.

I always wanted him to tell us more about that. When did it happen? Like 2 yrs ago or 20? What did he look like before? Presumably just as burly but perhaps not as stapled together and dis-shevelled as he did now … or had he always dressed this way? Was this accident the reason that he tended to digress a lot? Had he been more orderly before his body got dis-ordered? Did the accident lead to a reduction in his workload and was it therefore responsible for the no-longer-available course?

So what was this course … and what does it have to do with Madonna’s “Material Girl”? More on these matters in the next installment of this weekend’s investigation into things I don’t understand but wonder about.


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