It’s one of those things about growing up. People start calling you Mister. For a long time it was just my bank or anyone asking me for money. It wasn’t until I started teaching maths in the states that I had to get used to the sound of Mr.Broadbent on a regular basis. You see, the trouble is it’s just not me, it’s my Dad, or even his father.
Since I have been at Imperial, things have been pretty quiet on the mister-stakes. Today however, I became Monsieur Broadbent when I stepped for the first time into the English conversation class that I have now started teaching at the University of Marne-la-Vallee. There are few things that I hate. Nuclear bombs and radishes. Apart from those the only other thing I really dislike is the sound of ‘Broadbent’ said in a French accent. There is no way you can twist Broadbent to make it sit comfortably on a French palette, and I have tried. So no sooner had I become Monsieur Broadbent did I quickly rebrand myself as ‘Oliver’. Original, I know but it just seems to sit well with me. My parents like it. If it wasn’t for all the trouble it would cause with French bureaurocracy, I would just ditch the Broadbent bit all together for the year. Just like Brittany did.