It’s Dr Satan, to you.

February 27, 2012

Well, well, well.

Inside Higher Ed: Santorum’s attacks on higher education.

Apparently, Satan started out in universities. Now, I’ve known some Grade A dickbags in my ten years in UK higher education. And the United States has more people, therefore you’d expect there to be a correspondingly greater number of dickbags. But Satan? I’m not convinced.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of them come pretty close. For my first example, there’s the guy who keeps quoting totally random passages from obscure works of literature and then goes all eye-rolly and tutty so that he looks like he’s having a seizure and you can hear the contempt clogging and congealing in his throat as he says ‘What are people reading these days. How can you get through life without knowing that?’

Er…Dickbag!

Or, take the girl who, waiting for a taxi outside my college, turned to her clone/friend and said, ‘Oh. My. God! Where is this taxi? Like, I totes shouldn’t have to wait for a taxi driver, they should totes have to wait for me. Which is why I’m calling the cab, and they’re driving it.’

Dickbag!

Or, the guy who told me that if I stuck with him, he could open the doors of academia to me and show me a world that I’d always been exempt from.

D-d-d-d-d-dICKBAG!

Anyway, all of these people are probably a bit evil. Like maybe three-quarters evil but without the last quarter that tips people over the edge of almighty tosspiece-ness and into y’know Satanism.

Maybe I’ve just not being paying attention. Perhaps lurking in the library, creeping through the campus, hiding in the halls, there are all these little Satans disguised by their floppy, side-swept fringes, implausibly large spectacles, and jeans so skinny they are unable to climb a flight of stairs without flicking their legs out from the knee at alarming angles.

But if so then I have questions.

Does Satan have to pay his student loan back?

If Satan graduated with third-class honours, what are the implications of this for his future employment prospects? Would it in fact impair his chances of founding Satanism as a succesful start-up?

Is Satan eligible for student discounts, and if so, what’s his position on pound-a-pint nights and other such revelry?

Finally, does he get homesick in his first week, fall in love with a nice girl in freshers week and then spend his whole three years missing out on the single-life before getting dumped just in time for graduation?

I know I have completely missed the point of the article, and I fully intended to make a serious point about how moronic the whole thing is but I got distracted, and my mind went merrily on its way. So all that remains to be included is the following disclaimer.

***Disclaimer: I have no intention of causing offence to anybody who has strong feelings either way about Satan. If you hate and renounce Satan then hopefully there’s no harm done here and if you love him, well you probs will take offence but it’s also probs the least of your…er…probs. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and are not shared by any person living or dead and bear no factual accuracy to anything. Any offence taken is entirely the responsibility of the offended party but this does not affect your statutory rights. Only one voucher per person. Offer not valid on Saturdays.

 

 

 

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But she started it…

December 3, 2011

A number of years ago (nine, in fact, is the number in question), I lived in a shared house with four other girls. Take five girls who haven’t yet lost the adolescent appetite for drama, and put them in a house share. Shake vigorously, open lid with caution, contents may be explosive. It was a fucking nightmare.

I did actually like a couple of the girls and although we’ve drifted apart over the years, we got on well enough at the time. Had we not lived together, and so not associated each other with the horrendous house-share from hell, we might have stayed in touch. The other thing I’ll point out is that all of these girls were, in fact, drama students. I hate to generalise (but I’m going to anyway so I guess we’ll all have to live with that) but drama students do seem to have a higher than average collection of neuroses, and feel a compulsion to draw attention to these neuroses in a variety of ‘interesting’ ways. Of course we all have our issues but in my experience, there is certainly a correlation between obtaining a BA in Theatre Studies and a propensity to see the world as a play in which you are the fatally flawed heroine and other people are mere bit-part players, who wander in and out of your scenes. Every time the action flags and your lines aren’t showing off your talents, you rewrite a little and ramp up the melodrama. Either studying Brecht and Artaud is enough to put you in therapy, or UCAS recruits drama applicants directly from the books of therapists.  If this stereotype seems a little cruel that’s because it is. But a lesser-known fact about me is that for two years, I was one of these students of drama. For two years I ‘externalized the internal’ for dramatic effect, indulged in ‘invisible theatre (which meant standing in the middle of Covent Garden in a bra and sandwich board). I ran around with no shoes on, cultivated an image of a tortured soul, and cried late into the night, raking through every corner of my cushy middle-class life for more ‘material’. The thing is, I wasn’t very good at all that self-loathing combined with self-adoration and after two years I realised that a 2.2 in BA Exhibitionism  was not what I wanted out of my university career. So I switched to English where the pretensions were just as pronounced but of a slightly more tolerable flavour. But my point is, that I speak, if not with authority, then at least with some first-hand experience. I am sure there are lots and lots of talented and well-balanced students of drama the world over. Perhaps I’ll meet one of them one day.

Anyhow, in this shared house, we were all a bit like this – total emotional fuck-ups, mostly by design. But there was this one girl who was possibly the best example of all of these things that I have ever come across, and consequently the most irritating person in the world.  And maybe also a little bit evil. We’ll call her Tit. This wasn’t her name but it’s not wholly dissimilar to her name and is certainly apt. She was competitive, manipulative, and totally self-absorbed. Anyway, the point of this is that after two years of living together, a sort of vague generalised dislike intensified into white-hot burning anger. I think this is the only time I’ve ever hated anybody. Day after day was ruined by her very existence and any interaction we ever had became a tense, point-scoring dialogue of thinly veiled fury. My mum would tell me to avoid her and stay out of her way. The thing is, when you live with somebody, you can’t stay out of their way. It’s impossible. I remember sitting in my room, crying angry tears of frustration because I could hear her on the phone outside my room and every time she spoke it was like somebody stabbing me in the eye with a fork.

I despised Tit so much that it became almost an obsession. It was all I could think about and therefore all I talked about. Conversations with friends and family became a monologue  – me just listing the things she’d done or said, going over them from every angle: her audacity, my outrage, how she started it, how justified I was. People listened sympathetically at first but (understandably) began to get bored and even a little disturbed. What I wanted, I guess, was for them to feel what I felt, for me to somehow bypass words entirely and just plant the picture I saw in their heads, transplant the ball of rage and hatred in my stomach directly into theirs.

Eventually I moved out, took stock, and the anger faded and with it the hatred. From this vantage, I looked back at myself with more distance and was thoroughly ashamed of what I saw. I let her turn me into somebody I didn’t want to be, somebody who was fuelled by bitterness and anger, somebody who had no room for anything else in her life, somebody who was petty and childish and who had become every bit as despicable as Tit herself.  I resolved never to let that happen to me again.

The reason I’m writing all of this is because I need to remind myself just now that in the face of provocation, I can walk away. If somebody attacks me, then it doesn’t matter who starts it, who’s right or who’s wrong. It doesn’t matter who was to blame originally. If I react with anger and enmity, it will eat away at me, not the other person. It will damage me, not her. If she throws acid at me, it might burn me. If I throw it back, it will ricochet and still burn me, gradually corroding everything until I’m just the skeleton of the person I would have been.

So, Tit, and all those who come after you…do your worst. You can’t touch me.

P.S. Well done if you’ve read this far. I think we’ve all learned something here today. Mostly, that I am a little bit insane.

P.P.S. Just re-read this and can’t help thinking I might have belonged on that drama degree after all. As a wise man (my dad, I think) once said to me, you can take the student out of Drama, but you can’t take drama out of the student.

Q: How many cups of tea…

November 14, 2011

does it take an ADHDer to write a PhD?

A: Not sure. Am on cup 5 and still counting.

Cup 1: Faff about.

Cup 2: Check blog stats. Notice that somebody searched for “restaurant bus” in russian. That’s автобус ресторан for anyone wondering.

Cup 3: Send some self-pitying texts about how much work I have to do. Modify plan.

Cup 4: Faff about. Check washing machine for napping cats. Put washing on. Realise once it’s too late that I forgot to add washing powder. I am reminded of the time I made biscuits and forgot to include the flour. But my childhood baking catastrophes are a tale that deserve a post of their own someday.

Cup 5: Open Word document upon which I have 800 of the 1500 words I need. Have some kind of minor brain melt and somehow accidentally disapperate and end up on WordPress relating the whole sorry tale.

Gahhh (or as oooshiny might say ‘shitpissfuckandbuggerybollocks’ – hi shiny!), I really need to sort myself out. Need to send work to Supervisor P by tonight latest. Need to get started now. Right this minute…

 

 

 

 

…I better just nip and pop the kettle on.

 

Hello there, people in the Internet.

Guess what? Actually, no don’t. The announcement is never as exciting as the guesses. Well, you know how I’m usually telling myself off in this blog, giving myself a stern talking to etc etc? Well, reader, Jeg700 (hiya! *waves*) pointed out that negative reinforcement might not always be the best plan so I had a think about my Point=Rewards system and realised that it only works if it’s about actually rewarding myself for good behavior rather than punishing myself for bad behavior. I’m not sure what to do about that other than make sure the rewards are sort of bonus activities rather than things like going to the pub on a Friday (which I tend to do anyway). Aaanyway, the point is that that got me thinking that I should  balance out the somewhat pessimistic nature of this blog and stop being so snarky at myself for being totally crap not as efficient as I might be. Sooo, I am going to list my achievements since yesterday’s blog post:

1. Wrote 600 words yesterday, thus achieving target word count for the day.

2. Went to the pub BUT…..left before last orders (this represents a BIG achievement. If I was a cat, I’d give myself a little treat from the cupboard under the microwave for this. Good girl, Rose. Etc)

3. Did 45 minutes of exercise this morning, despite waking up late AGAIN (keep forgetting I’m supposed to be focusing on the positives today). As an aside, it was a home exercise DVD that requires you to dance about like a total dick and I have no curtains. And my window is on a level with the upper decks of the buses outside. And there are traffic lights directly outside. Oh well.

4. Today’s goal is 800 words (therefore 8 points) and although I currently only have 400, I am optimistic about reaching my goal in the next hour or two. Funny how it takes me about 256billion hours to start writing and then all the words just sort of tumble out at once. (I don’t know if this achievement counts until I have the full eight points, does it? It’s kinda like counting chickens before they’ve hatched. Weeeel, perhaps it’s only like counting chickens before they’ve all hatched. Which is quite a different kettle of fish. Fuck. I have 8 eggs in a kettle and 4 of them have hatched into fish and I’m starting to wonder whether drinking 2 cups of coffee to every 100 words was a good idea)

5. Notice that end-bracket there ^ at the end of the bit about eggs and fish, the bit successfully enclosed within parentheses? Usually I forget the end bracket. Achievement number 5 – Booom!

 

 

Panic Over (hopefully)…

February 15, 2010

Last week was the most disgustingly busy week of my life which is why posting has been light (ok then, non-existent] over the last couple of weeks.

I had to present my work in two seminars last week in addition to having a hundred billion other stressful and scary things to do.

But I SURVIVED! Everything went as well as could be expected despite my losing/forgetting/ eating everything in sight. Am sure I have eaten my own body weight in study “provisions” and comfort food.

I don’t say this very often, but I am actually proud of myself for getting through this relatively unscathed and with (most of) my sanity intact. I think I did a pretty good job of fooling people into thinking I wasn’t terrified and more importantly, that I knew what I was talking about.

I rewarded myself this weekend by sleeping and eating, sleeping and eating, sleeping and eating -mmmmm.

Right now, I am feeling 3 stone heavier but (imagining here that self-worth can be quantified) 3 stone happier and I’m gonna make the most of it before I dare to peek round the next corner where Disaster is almost certainly lurking, custard pie in hand….

Aaaagh!

February 1, 2010

Number of days since chapter deadline: 3
Number of words unwritten: approx 5000
Number of items lost today: 2
Number of items found: 1
Number of hours spent looking for lost stuff: 3
Number of miracles needed: 1 would do.
Number of miracles anticipated: 0
Number of expletives uttered during course of day: Approx 5000

Fuck.

5001.

Alma Mater…

January 24, 2010

I don’t know, kids these days… this week I was using the library of my former university. I spent five years here, during which time I completed my BA, MRes, collected some dubious life experiences, a few generalised anxieties, several more specific neuroses, one or two odd housemates, and a boyfriend. I lost four mobile phones, three purses, two fateful games of duzzy fuck, and  an ovary (never did find that bastard).

Anyway, it’s always had a reputation of being a very left wing and politically active university. Over the last few years, however, I worry that the students are less politically engaged than they used to be and more concerned with cultivating a particular image of the politically aware. Gone are the days when students combed the charity shops looking for a bargain – most of the students seem to spend a fortune on maintaining that charity shop-chic look from their favourite designers. Gone too are the marches, the demos, the sit-ins – ‘somebody else was supposed to be organising it but, like, it was the X-factor final and, y’know?’

So I’m glad to see that even in these days of relative apathy, that good old medium of protest, the toilet door graffito, has not gone the way of the placard:

Protest

Sorry for the bad photo – the lighting in those toilets is not good and I’m pretty sure the girl washing her hands was wondering why I was taking photos of myself in a toilet cubicle so I had to be quick. What I love about this toilet door is that at the top there you have an admirable call for equality on the basis of sexual orientation. Just underneath this there’s a reflection on the nature of oppression and a concise but passionate protest against Zionism. At the bottom of the same door, however, somebody has felt the need to add this little observational gem:


Also a protest...

A beintot, Internet x