Nudge, nudge, wink, wink

This morning my colleagues and I did the final group briefing of the year before the students submit their work for assessment. I’ve developed an annoying twitch on one side of my face recently which gets worse when I smile, so I decided to adopt the facial expression of an executioner in a desperate attempt to prevent my involuntarily winking eyelid from making an unwelcome appearance in front of forty people. Unfortunately my strategy failed; my uncharacteristically grim expression only succeeded in creating the atmosphere of an execution and the eye started twitching uncontrollably anyway at the mere mention of assessments. Just as my upper lip decided to join in distressingly with the eyelid, there was a sudden outbreak of laughter. To my relief, it was not related to my facial gymnastics.

“What’s that noise?” said my colleague.

“What noise?” I thought.

“It’s my mobile” said the offending student.

A loud rumbling sound elicited another burst of laughter. Good god, I thought, these ringtones get  more bizarre by the day. I marvelled at the technological advances which could deliver such impressive, if a little alarming, volume from a tiny mobile. Sadly, I was rather disappointed to discover that what I’d actually heard was the sound of the student’s wheelie computer chair traversing the concrete floor at 20mph as they reached hurriedly to turn the phone off. The actual ringtone remains a mystery, but I’m told it was the sound of a voice.

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