Parthian Glances

To begin with the annual roll-call of saviours of the editor's bacon, special thanks are due this issue to Robin Osborne and Stephen Hill, who produced their articles on the changes in A-Level syllabus at near-zero notice - following a Standing Committee meeting in October at which it emerged that few colleagues knew anything about these far-reaching changes to the structure of the subject in schools. Like too many things this year (v. Chair's Report passim), these changes have come in so rapidly that many are only now beginning to register their significance. We should be particularly grateful to the colleagues who have set the new structures out so clearly, and for their own long and largely thankless work in getting these new curricula in place.

The above notwithstanding, long-time readers may notice a bit of a hole at the centre of this year's contents. It's traditional for the Bulletin to leaven its joyless recitations of new administrative structures and bureacratic shenanigans with inspirational articles on the kinds of professional matter that actually get our juices flowing. (Language teaching is always a reliable winner.) One can only hope that it is a sign more of editorial fatigue than of anything in the times that this year's Bulletin is the first to include no such article, and (more worrying still) that the editor found himself instead perversely spellbound by the Chair's report and HEFCE letters.

When that happens, it's time to get out. By an unusual conjunction of the spheres, this season sees a mass rotation of CUCD officers as the team that has managed the show for the last few years collectively expires. But five years is quite long enough for the Bulletin to be dragged downhill by the same editor. All else apart, I am now two daughters the wealthier - both choosing to arrive at Bulletin time, a demonstration of power to which both have continued to live up - and I live in annual dread of more if I don't lay down the reins now. At least I take away from the experience a rich accumulation of editorial how-not-tos, including:

I leave it to my successor to uphold the high standards I have consistently set in the disregard of these matters. Except at the time of year when it happens, editing the Bulletin is a generally enjoyable activity; I hope its satisfactions may yet conquer even that remaining unscaled height.

* (Provided that one is easily impressed.)

CUCD Bulletin 28 (1999)
© Council of University Classical Departments 1999

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