Killer questions

Since the nice man in Boots asked me four months ago how I felt about hearing aids (answer: sharpest exit from the room he’s ever seen) I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate my predicament. I work as a lecturer in an open plan studio and the challenging acoustic environment coupled with having a bunch of the loveliest, but most quietly spoken, students of all time is causing me no end of problems. My subject, thankfully, is visual communication so the pictures fill in most of the gaps in my increasingly dodgy aural communication. In order to avoid driving everyone round the twist, I pretend I can hear whenever I think I can get away with it. I have to reserve my “Sorry, could you repeat thats” for when they’re really necessary. I nod sagely during discussions to lend authenticity to my deceit, but the unexpected question is always a killer…if the person talking to me suddenly stops talking and looks at me in puzzlement as I carry on with my sagely nodding, there’s a high probability a question has slipped in to the proceedings. This requires swift action before they get frightened by my inappropriate initial response. I then get them to repeat the question, whilst leaning a bit closer with every failed attempt, until success has been achieved or my ear is right next to their mouth, whichever comes first. The latter is very undignified for both parties, most students like to maintain an optimal distance of approximately 4 metres from their lecturer at all times.


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