Simon

Simon really was a remarkable guy. He was incredibly smart and an excellent lecturer, but the thing I will always remember about him is his unique sense of humour. Simon would observe and reflect on everything around him, from politics to students to the quality of food at Open Days. However, the favourite targets of his dry and sharp comments were invariably those in positions of power and authority. It was an absolute privilege to have Simon has a colleague. My thoughts are with his wife, daughter and family.

“Speck”

I was fortunate enough to have Simon (“Speck”) as my personal tutor throughout my time at university. His remarkable knowledge & instant solutions both aided & amazed me.  

He would genuinely engage me, not just academically, but personally too. His tendency to, as he put it, “over- compensate” for his perceived flaws was something we joked about & connected over. His dark & dry sense of humour also resonated with me & a lot of my peers.  

It would be far too arrogant of me to say that I saw myself in Simon – I can only dream of possessing his intellect. But I will say that there were character traits of his that I certainly related to; I like to think he was aware of this. I’m not sure, however, if he knew how much that relatability sustained me during periods of self-doubt & insecurity.    

Our class’ trip to Berlin will always evoke fun memories, with Simon playing a major role within them. His easy-going, chilled & authentic vibe shone even more out of the lecture room & it was apparent that students wanted to be around him &, perhaps unconsciously, craved his attention. (He could also drink most of us under the table yet still maintain an articulate & intellectual conversation – it was pretty admirable).

The standout memory for me, was during the third & final year. When I felt like I was about to fall at the last hurdle, & that everything I was submitting was dire, I unexpectedly received an email from Simon. It was a response to his “Humour & Society” module essay submission. He’d gone out his way to message me personally to express how much he had loved my work & had even thanked me for giving him such an enjoyable read. I still remember the feeling his message gave me – it was almost euphoric.

His acknowledgement would bring joy.

His feedback and grade secured me a first-class degree & for that I will always be grateful.

I count myself very lucky that I was one of his students.

He will always be missed…& respected.