Unexpected developments

I’m not quite sure what to make of this. I’ve just had an email newsletter from Girton College’s development office about what’s going on in the old place – you know, the kind of things they would tell me in the telephone campaign if I was considered rich enough to be worth phoning.

Now, I don’t know what other people’s alma maters put in their newsletters in the way of photographs, but I would imagine that even the most traditional Oxbridge colleges include a few pictures of youthful, optimistic students smiling at each other in the library, or chucking around a rugby ball, or revising on the lawns. You know, standard trendy students-working-and-playing-in-a-relaxed-atmosphere sort of stuff.

Not so Girton! Apart from a standard e-newsletter image of the college’s Great Hall (fair enough), news of the college’s progress and development are accompanied by a close up of some embroidery in the reception room… and a picture of the 1943 netball team.

Doesn’t exactly give the most up-to-date picture of college life, does it? And dare I say it, the stereotype of ‘female college’ does rather leap out of the email, even though the first boys were admitted to the college before I was even born.

Oh, but hang on… here are a couple of pictures showing how things have changed! Though perhaps not in the way you might have expected…

Exhibit A: “College supervision in progress”

Eh? My former college is educating dogs now? There was a big fuss made some years ago about an animal testing site opening not far from Girton – have the more intelligent animals ended up at the college, to be tested more rigorously at undergraduate level? And perhaps that’s progress – after all, they said women couldn’t be educated, but Girton proved them wrong!

I suppose it’s not even clear who is giving this supervision – and I have to say, the dog looks rather more in control of the situation, calmly enjoying its student’s response to a witticism about land masses or something.

But surely Girton haven’t taken to giving fellowships to animals??? If only there were another photo in the email to clarify what’s really going on.

Oh, hang on – Exhibit B:

“Buster supervising in the lodge”

Oh. I guess that settles it then.

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