Confessions of a Student - Part 2

This is the continuing journal of the life and trials of a University/College student. At least, it's vaguely based on that... I must point out that this is NOT based on my life. As I'm posting this on a University computer, I thought I'd better put in some kind of disclaimer. Just to cover myself, you understand...

Week 2 - 1/10/2001 - The Freshers Fair and some of those Lesson thingies...

Welcome back to the miserable world of University life! Well, last week I was still hoping to get a bigger room. Unfortunately, now that I've seen some of the other rooms, I think they're all like this. Sardines in a can doesn't even come close. I was watching a film in someone's room last night, and we could only get four people in there around the TV. Surely we deserve bigger rooms than this!

I remember last week a third year student ran into me and gave me a piece of advice. "Don't bother getting your timetable yet!" he told me, "Half of it's wrong, and the other half will get changed anyway..." He was right. The piece of fiction I received last week turned out to be about as much use as a chocolate frying pan. I wound up about 45 minutes late to at least one lecture, and I went into one lecture where final year students were discussing their final project!

In case you hadn't guessed, this week marked the start of my lessons, which was a bit of an anticlimax, really. Four lectures, one for each of my four modules. In each lecture, the teacher just stood there, and told us what the module was about. I've just sat through an hour long lecture for Information Technology, explaining exactly what Information Technology is. Next week, our lecture is entitled "The History of Typewriters". Do they make us sit through these lectures just to torture us? Or is it some kind of pre-course toughening-up session?

In every lecture we get told the same thing - 40% to pass the module, turn up to at least 8 out of 12 lectures or fail, assignments go to the assessment office, deadlines are not negotiable, and if you don't like it, then tough f* {ing luck. Not big on student motivation here. I also found out that this place has about a 40% drop out rate. So, a confidence building week! Miserable teachers, unforgiving assignments, and a high failure rate. Now, where did I put my "50 Fun Things..." lists?

We also have a seminar for each module after the lecture. The idea is to discuss what happened in the lecture, and to cover anything that was confusing in the lecture. Today, we just complained about how pointless our lecture was. Maybe the idea is to bring us together in hating our lectures? We all seemed to have that in common... Could this be part of some secret plan to bring the students together? Nah - They're not that well organised.

On Wednesday, we had our 'Freshers Fair', which was basically an excuse to pack as many of us as possible into a small hall with a load of insurance salesmen, religious fanatics and army recruiters. I walked out with about 2312 free pens, 476 brochures, 38 assorted sweets, and 3 cans of coke. Oh, yeah, and a little pot of 'Yakult'. Which I think is reconstituted, homogenised yak milk. Maybe. I kept the sweets and pens, binned the rest, and went down the road to devour a quick McDonalds.

Thursday was more interesting. We got to sign up for all our clubs and stuff. Which is a waste of time. Most people, including me, didn't sign up for anything, because we were distracted by a selection of stalls in the corner giving away free drinks. Do you have any idea what happens when a large group of students see free drinks? A stampede, that's what. An onslaught of a hundred thundering feet, all desperate to drab more than the next guy. As well as my life, I managed to escape with 2 bottles of Metz, 3 shots of Aftershock, and a large number of money-off bracelets.

In other news, I found the student bar an invaluable resource this week, as I met a large number of people who seem to want to spend most of their time at Uni drunk. These people appear to worship drink as their own private God, and worship in a very strange and bizarre ritual. They spend five nights a week speaking to the white telephone. And in some cases, sleeping on the porcelain pillow. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, ask a student.

That's about it for this exciting episode of student life. Tune in next week for more stories of drunken stupidity and student... stupidity. Same time, same place, same old jokes.