Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Inaugural address of Professor Imo

Cyril Imo, one of our colleagues and the head of the section of Ethics and Philosophy where we do most of our teaching, was scheduled to give his inaugural address, "Religion, Ethics and Globalization" on Friday Oct 26. It would be one of the rare celebration events for the entire Department of Religious Studies. But for this occasion too we soon discovered that the main lecture hall of the university was to be occupied for university entrance examinations. At first the lecture was going to be postponed. That would have created great difficulties for Imo's family, especially, since the event had been announced on radio and television and, as is customary, the family had already gone to great lengths to cook food for more than a hundred guests. Several colleagues pleaded with the administration to allow the lecture to proceed, and indeed, we finally learned that the event was to begin at 1pm. We ourselves had gone home to find some lunch in the interval, waiting for the phone call to signal us to come back, but a considerable audience had waited patiently outside the hall for the even to begin.
After the introductory proprieties of this official university occasion, Imo spoke. We had a copy of the lecture - it had been printed in advance so we could follow along. All 67 pages! Would he cut that short? In fact, the opposite happened. He had provided a summary on a power-point presentation, with added illustrations for the benefit of those who did not have the printed copy. And he took a number of occasions to enlighten us on the importance of the illustrations. The ceremony ended at about 4pm, and at that point we were quite ready to join him in refreshments at his house, only a few minutes' walk from our own.

No comments: