A group of second-year historians received high praise from fellow students after successfully not speaking for a whole hour last week. The silence, which took place during group 3’s ‘Approaching the Past’ seminar on Friday, raised over a quarter of million pounds for the BBC’s charity, Children in Need.
Whilst the scale of the donations were large, Ellie Sutherland, architect of the fundraiser, explained why she was not entirely surprised by the strong support.
‘I guess people thought it just couldn’t be done, you know, going sixty minutes without saying anything at all, with all the awkwardness, and those penetrating stares from the seminar tutor.
‘To let you in on a secret,’ she explained, ‘we’ve been training for this for a few months now.’
Ellie confirmed how some key exercises included doing literally no academic preparation for the group’s meetings, and spending Thursday nights at Mbargo.
‘One of the key aspects of our training programme was binge-watching daytime TV whilst remaining in total silence. This was straightforward for the modern-day classics, such as Tipping Point, but old favourites like Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women did prove slightly more challenging, mindless as they are.’
Ellie and her fellow students have proved anything is possible with a lack of hard work, no determination and a deep-seated secret love for Bradley Walsh.
‘What we luckily stumbled upon last Friday was this unique combination of laziness, headaches and pop-culture-induced intellectual apathy. It was a perfect goldilocks zone, where everything falls into place, and one can comprehensively disengage from any sort of scholarly self-respect. It was magical, really.’