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Another quick post because I'm off out again (bloody Real Life, always getting in the way of my blogging.) As I mentioned yesterday, I gave a talk to the Oxford student society over which I once ruled with an iron fist, OUSFG. They'd billed it as 'Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse', but I cleaved more to my original title: 'Health and Safety in a Zombie Apocalypse.' In many ways it was quite poorly planned: I had my sketchy notes from the last time I gave the talk (which must have been, what, 6 years ago? Longer?), I'd done a bit of dicking around research on LiveJournal last week, and I'd spent the odd spare minute been mulling over and noting down nifty ideas as they came to me. In the end, it all came together remarkably well. I couldn't believe it when I realised that I'd been talking for two and a quarter hours.

I played on the fortunate coincidence of the opening of the new Oxford animal lab and my job with Oxford University, by mentioning them both then denying, emphatically and repeatedly, that they were of any relevance to my talk at all. I also brought plenty of props, though it's perhaps a little disturbing that I had gel kneepads, goggles, a helmet, a face-mask, a foam baseball bat and a foam crowbar immediately to hand. An interesting aspect for me was the obvious benefit of the years I'd spent delivering training since I last gave the talk. e_pepys said afterwards (and I paraphrase to put myself in the best possible light) that he felt I'd successfully combined the mind-numbing horror of a mandatory health and safety lecture with the mind-numbing horror of the living dead, and made it funny; which was very pleasing because that was exactly I was aiming for. Anyway, it got a good turnout, and people laughed, joined in, and asked sensible and stupid questions very much in the spirit of the thing. I found myself feeling quite affectionate towards them by the end. Perhaps I will go back one of these days, and I really must write it all up (including their contributions) when I have the time.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Alx's inimitable zombie talk
Since I missed it, I had to gather what happened secondhand. Lyndsey said, "I think most of AlX's teaching was drawing on the various film traditions, cleverly tuned to our particular Oxford environment :-) He included such wisdom as "don't be American", as well as soundtrack recommendations to increase our chance of being in the small core of long-term survivors.."

It sounds like an eminently sensible strategy to me! So what were some of the music suggestions? Would Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" be too "The Stand"?

I assume securing a corner shop and putting zombies to sandwich-making purposes is the ideal survival scenario, right?
Nov. 14th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Alx's inimitable zombie talk
Hey, you're quoting me off Facebook?? To put it in context, that was a direct reply to your question about whether OUSFG's discussion went beyond the scope of a book I haven't read anyway..
Nov. 14th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Alx's inimitable zombie talk
Is the quotation source a problem? Sorry if it is. Since the redesign, I can't find a thing on FB, and rely on the auto-notifications sent to my e-mail account for anything new.
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Alx's inimitable zombie talk
No worries! It was just a bit weird having my answer quoted word for word as if it was a critical review of Alex's talk, rather than just a response to your question on my status message. If you wanted an actual review, I'd also have mentioned that the talk provided the more humour (and weaponry) than we've had at any meeting in ages :-)
Nov. 15th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: Alx's inimitable zombie talk
Humourous weaponry? Now I really am jealous...and nostalgic... (sigh)
Nov. 29th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
You were absolutely awesome :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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