This five day interactive workshop was not delivering creative ideas as anticipated. The participants were merely going through the motions of the exercises that they were set, and appeared to have no interest whatsoever in forming research relationships with one another.
I overheard a woman say to a posh ginger-haired man “You’re already ‘Sir-what’s-his-name’. By the time you leave here you will be a lord, and it will be beneath you to associate with anybody as common as me”. He replied that anyone would be welcome to visit him on his family estate, but this offer was not taken seriously by the others.
One woman was so traumatised by the workshop experience that she hid under the white linen cloth that covered a round table in the middle of the room. I knew that she was a children’s author so I tried to tempt her out by asking if she would sign a copy of her latest book for me. All she had on her were copies that had already been signed for other people. She could not give me one of these. As a compromise she tore the title page out of one of the books destined for someone else and added her signature to it. To show my appreciation I joined her under the table and we played with some robots that my university friend MP had made earlier in the day.