You taught my father….

A few years ago – several in fact – a new student came over to me at a freshers’ reception to announce, with enthusiasm, ‘you taught my father’.   There are certain things one doesn’t want to hear.  He is now not the only student who has made a similar statement.  Many years ago, I taught a student called Greg Pope.  He went on to be Labour MP for Hyndburn.  A few years ago I also taught his son.  To cap it all, Greg Pope retired from the House of Commons at the last election.  He is not the only graduate of mine I know of who is now retired or semi-retired.   Hmm, why do young people – well, relatively young people – choose to retire?  It’s beyond me. 

Mind you, it could be worse: ‘you taught my grandfather’…

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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9 Responses to You taught my father….

  1. Carl.H says:

    As a conservative peer does it feel like you failed when they turn out to be Labour MP’s ? 😉

    Is teaching two Popes something to be proud of I wonder ?

    Retirement is leaving something you didn’t like to pass the time chasing something you’re too old for, until death.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Carl.H: I am told that when Greg Pope fought Hyndburn, which has a substantial Roman Catholic population, his election posters read ‘Vote Pope, Gregory’.

      If there was a Parliamentary Warrant, equivalent to a Royal Warrant, I think my Department would deserve one for services to Parliament in supplying graduates to each of the three main parties. As I like to point out, we train students in how to think, not what to think.

      • Carl.H says:

        I dare say some in the party would say you need to reform your methods, so not only would they think but they think clearly.

  2. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,

    It mght be worse if you were blogging today and had been taught in undergraduate literature by any critic of that family’s lineage named Alexander. In all seriousness, some of my former students are on track to be grandparents before I fully forclose all possibility of having a family of my own. However, I know I was very young teaching those near my age at a lower level than University in those cases.That age matter may be part of the issue here. I seem to have heard that a certain Philip Norton was at one time the youngest professor of politics in the United Kingdom…

  3. ladytizzy says:

    One of the best lines describing knowing when you are getting on a bit is after tying your shoelaces you start looking for something else to do while you’re down there.

  4. Paul says:

    You’ve reminded me that I must try to attend the graduate seminar this year. Is it soon?

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