Friday, 8 December 2006

Master and Pupil

I ended up calling The Master at home last night about my holiday, having left a couple of messages and received no reply. He immediately started to tell me at some length and in some detail about what a terrible day he'd had, sandwiched between a very awkward social worker, who he was representing, and some fairly reasonable sounding requests by the other parties. There had also been a terrible traffic jam on the way home, which had taken him two hours, and his back had been playing up all day. I sympathised a lot, said 'that's terrible' repeatedly and eventually had to raise the holiday subject myself after several minutes, conscious that I was calling on my pay as you go mobile.

He was absolutely fine about it but wanted me to double check with the head of the pupillage committee. I told him I had a feeling that he was still in Siberia (for reasons that it would take time to explain), but said I would if I could.

We then spent a few minutes talking about my Prospects generally and the need for me to put in face time. I ended up having to give him a short explanation of the fact I have a new girlfriend, as one of the first things he did when we met was ask about my home circumstances and background. Eventually, my credit ran out and The Master was cut off mid exposition. I think this cost me about £10 in the end, but it was money well spent.

The Master-Pupil relationship is a curious one. I'm very fond of him even though I've seen so little of him and find the lack of contact time very frustrating. I have no idea what he makes of me.

I managed to get hold of the head of the pupillage committee today, who is in fact back from Siberia, and all is well. Although he muttered about it being important not to damage my Prospects. This being the second time I've heard the word in two days, it sounded a bit ominous. Although it could be interpreted as a positive development to have acquired Prospects that one is in danger of damaging. Also rather Jane Austen. Given that I don't walk past the clerks to get to my corner of the library (in fact I have no excuse at all to even go to the floor on which the clerks are based) and virtually no-one uses the library, I am really quite confident that no-one would notice if I wasn't here at all. And with everyone away for at least a few days over Christmas, I'm hoping there isn't too much to worry about.

Mid-draft, the other pupil dropped by the library. I'll write a post about her next week, but we did manage to talk and go for a coffee this week. She's very nice and very down to earth. I ran the situation past her and it turns out she's going away on 22nd December. As her Master is himself away and probably not back until 11th January, she'll probably take this time off as well. She has had no problems whatsoever about this and no-one has muttered anything about Prospects to her. She figures we won't be able to take time off in our 'second sixes' (the second six months of pupillage, where we are allowed to do our own work) and that there isn't much point in being in chambers without one's Master.

Quite, I thought.

2 comments:

Sam said...

hmmm...aren't you supposed to be following your master around everywhere?

Excellent blog though.

Janeite said...

It's Jane Austen not Austin!