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CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2008

Stroke victim sets record straight

Heinz Klatt (Letters, March 2008 Bulletin) characterizes me as a “truly one dimensional man.” I hope he applies more rigor to his psychological studies than he does to the unfounded assumptions he makes about me.

I am an avid music lover, frequently attending classical and jazz concerts. I have been learning the piano since 2002. I regularly correspond with the former music critic of the London Times. I am an active member of the Labour Party and serve on my trade union’s branch committee and local negotiating committee. I participate in various stroke campaign and social groups. I am researching the experiences of stroke survivors and long-term therapy providers with another stroke survivor and a National Health Service research physiotherapist.

I am a regular spectator at Rugby League matches and first-class cricket matches. Every week I go to the pub with my friends. I eat out with them. I have regular letters in the press on a variety of topics, read novels and biographies and go to the cinema and theatre. I go to the gym twice weekly. I am also a husband and the father of two girls. Does this add up to a “person who cannot imagine any other activity because apparently he has no other passion, interests or skill?”

In 1999 I retired, at 57, from my full-time post. Retiring eight years early released funds to allow a younger person on a temporary contract to obtain a permanent one. The teaching I undertake is minimal. I teach one 10-week module a year, lasting 30 hours. Given the volume of my varied interests and activities it could hardly be otherwise!

Michael Somerton
Centre for Lifelong Learning
University of Hull

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