Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oh Captain my captain?

Apologies for being a slack blogger but I've been awfully busy, having been back at uni for the past two days. Or, to put it another way, I haven't been back at uni at all - it just feels that way.

I've spent the past two days on a work-related media law course and it's been flipping great. Not just because it means two days away from my desk and Proper Work but because it's been awhile since I've had a free two days to actually spend just, well, learning.

It has also however, reminded me exactly why I should Never Go Back to Uni. Ever.

Going back to uni has always had it's appeal. Indeed, the idea pops up every six months or so and I spend a few weeks dreaming of jackets with elbow patches, looking brainy in glasses and having a Gael Garcia Bernal look-alike (sometimes with, sometimes without glasses) help me pick up my giant stack of uber intellectual books when I drop them in the library. Of course in these day dreams I never have to really think about exactly what I'll be, you know, DOING, at uni, but the idea is an attractive one.

However, the past two days have reminded me just how flipping exhausting and humbling it can be to bloody learn things every freaking day.

For a start it makes you feel stupid. Most of the time I can get away with feeling reasonably non-stupid, given that all my intellectual jousting is more or less done either with the TV while I'm watching Make Me A Supermodel (read: I yell things at the TV sometimes, occassionally things I believe to be witty) or giving chat at parties (read: I drunkenly corner someone and talk to them about last night's episode of House until they drown themselves in the punch bowl or punch me in the face). Only when you have someone super brainy talking to you for seven hours a day over to days about a subject you know very little about do you realise how ignorant you are.

And for a few hours it's great because it makes you hungry for more and you find yourself fascinated by a world you'd never been exposed to before. Cut to a few extra hours later, however, and you're weeping softly in the corner, rocking gently back and forth and whispering 'make it stop, please make it stop'. Because it is exhausting. Just really tiring having to THINK constantly and ask questions endlessly. I admire people who go back to do PhD's or whatever because that's pretty much what they're letting themselves in for but me? I'm too lazy.

It's experiences like this, too, that make me look back at my own uni experience a little more critically and wonder if perhaps I haven't rewritten history. I remember, yes, the intellectual curiosity and the excitement of being exposed to a genuinely new idea. But what about the horror tutorials when I was forced to give an hour long presentation on a subject I barely understood or a book I'd not technically got around to finishing? The painful monologues from the hair flicking English tutor capable of infusing a lecture on the greatest American novel ever written (The Great Gatsby, since you asked) with all the excitement of an episode of Deal or No Deal.

Really the way I romanticise the crap out of uni is exactly the way I romantacise the crap out of uni boys: in my mind the boys I knew back then were all delicious brainboxes who used words like "subjugate", got angry over Important Issues and wore black quite a lot. Somehow I've managed to block out the parts where they all turned out to be either pretentious posers who responded "not... physically" when asked if they were a bit cold, or lured me to their house only to wait until we were alone before revealing their life ambition was to engage in hand-to-paw combat with wolves. Armed with a KNIFE.

So I may keep the dreams, possibly even with a tweed jacket or two in my wardrobe just in case, but I won't delude myself into believing I should ever, ever go back there again. I'll save my little grey cells for solving Agatha Christie films before the end and, you know, drinking.


observer said...

Hmm, vaguely thinking about going back to uni myself. But it's not the boys I'm worried about. When I was at uni I HATED those women who'd respond to every point the lecturer made with "how does that uphold a radical feminist agenda?" Now I find myself becoming one of those women. I'm at a cross roads - do I just go with it or do I veer away and buy a Pussycat Dolls album?

Dave said...

There's got to be a happy medium observer - those two are pretty extreme options you've thrown up there.

Orhan Kahn said...

I could talk to you about House and the cows come home. Been watching season three all day. Even downloaded the soudtrack for the first two seasons.

.. their life ambition was to engage in hand-to-paw combat with wolves. Armed with a KNIFE.

Wait, what?

Oh lawdy did I lol.

my name is kate said...

ah sweet House. I come for Hugh Laurie's delicious baby blues but I stay for... well Hugh Laurie's other fine qualities.

And yes I wish I were joking. Last I heard the boy joined the army... hmmm

Anonymous said...

speaking as someone at uni, and soon to finish, don't rush back.

I had to run around the campus for 45 minutes yesterday attempting to get sign a fucking form.

By the time I got it done, the lodgement office had shut. Shunts.

observer said...

I have found booze represents a pretty good middle ground in every situation, Dave.