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Calman “had the weirdest dream” last night

Posted on 5th October 2008. No Comment

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Home Counties postman Kenny Calman awoke from his sleep to inform his wife that he had “the weirdest dream” last night. Mr Calman’s subconscious apparently played out a fantastical situation whereby the mild-mannered delivery man was suddenly in charge of a large University facing huge problems.

“God it was a terrible nightmare,” Ken told his wife Betty, a newsagents assistant. “It was all set in this really weird place called Durham,” he explained, massaging his bald head as he awoke. “It was totally bizarre because it was meant to be a city but it was incredibly small. So crazy.” Other elements the long-time native of Winslow in Buckinghamshire felt seemed slightly unreal were the way the University seemed to “take everything up, I mean without students you’d think it wouldn’t exist” and how one place could have so many Italian restaurants.

In this fantasy world Ken Calman found himself no longer a humble village postman but instead “the King or something of the University”. Looking back Mr Calman was able to point to many clues that should have hinted that he was in fact dreaming. “The first was that they said my previous job was Chief Medical Officer and then I was put in charge of a University,” he mused, “that should have rung alarm bells – I mean how does being a good doctor make me an ideal manager of a large educational institution?”

“That sort of thing just wouldn’t happen in real life,” he added.

Yet what could have been a relatively pleasant dream about enjoying a position of power would take on a nightmarish twist. “It was great being what they called the ‘Vice-Chancellor’,” he said. “I had a really plush office and nice big house to live in free of charge but then things went horribly wrong.” A host of financial problems would make this dream a terrifying sequence of problems and dilemmas. “We got really short of cash but the horrible part of the nightmare was that I could just do nothing sensible to put it right,” he explained. “The sensible strategy would have been to fire my incompetent financial team and then work closely with lecturers and students to formulate a mutually accessible plan, but instead I was isolating myself and coming up with these unfeasible and high-handed reports.”

“It was like I was someone else and it was so frustrating to watch myself be so idiotic and insensitive to the needs of those I ruled over,” he whimpered.

At 5.00am Ken Calman woke up screaming, after realising that in his dream he had condemned students to crippling bills, and totally destroyed the morale of his staff by setting them the impossible goal of maintaining high standards of teaching and research whilst cutting their numbers and increasing those of the students.

Sir Kenneth Calman is still asleep.

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