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Are you pondering what I'm pondering...?
The Journal of a slightly depraved Mef
In which there is a distinct lack of actual jokes about chavs... 
3rd-Oct-2008 04:00 pm
*zips suitcase shut with much huffing*
*sits on suitcase*
*falls off suitcase when the zip gives way and it explodes open*

I feel that British schools are failing to teach us an important life lesson: do not bounce on your suitcase, no matter how temptingly squidgy it is. It Will Not End Well. The sad thing is, the same thing happened to me in Oxford the last time I was up there for the interviews. I was trundling along with my much-bounced-on suitcase, and the zip gave way in the middle of the pavement. It shouldn't be possible for a person to get through a suitcase a year, should it?

I just thought I'd share, before picking up all my socks and starting again. Maybe if I use some of willow41z's duct tape...

My life has been sadly lacking in humour for a few weeks, (Unless you count the way I look in my sub fusc), and laughter has just been something I've thought about nostalgically from time to time.

Most of my recent conversations have followed this basic template:

RO: *stares at the TV in a zombie like trance*
LITTLE BROTHER: *waves hand in front of Ro's face*
RO: Leave me alone.
LITTLE BROTHER: But we're all very worried. You're watching The X Factor!
RO: And?
LITTLE BROTHER: *solemnly* And you're not making any jokes about chavs. What's wrong? Aren't you meant to be rea-
RO: No!
RO: We do not use The R Word. Ever.
LITTLE BROTHER: *smiling* Okay, no but seriously, what's wro-
RO: Ever!
LITTLE BROTHER: Oookay then. *backs away*

I might be worrying ever such a little bit about the essay that I'm going to have to write over freshers' week, because I seem to forget everything I've read the day after I've read it. Having managed about three and a half books though, (complete with detailed notes!), I decided to give up and a few days ago I discovered mindless-but-pleasantly-numbing-programming. Also known as Daytime TV. It was fabulous and shiny and full of annoying theme tunes and I decided that I was in love.

Happily for my sanity, my family staged an intervention and dragged me out to dinner and reminded me about the real world and how it's even better than daytime TV for fabulous and shiny and annoying theme tunes too. I'm now actually looking forward to freshers' week and meeting up with some old friends from school and some new facebook friends from my college, (though I'm still not looking forward to wearing sub fusc).

As for the upcoming essay...

LITTLE BROTHER: You're still not reading.
RO: I've decided that no one's going to do well on the first essay of term. I'm just going to have to accept failure philosophically and boost my ego by making chav jokes.
LITTLE BROTHER: I can see that you're feeling better.
RO: *happily* I think I'm growing as a person.
3rd-Oct-2008 03:59 pm (UTC) - re: sub fusc
nice shoes
do you wear this everyday during term?
i'm sure you'll look smashing, head to toe

3rd-Oct-2008 04:28 pm (UTC) - Re: sub fusc
Just for special occasions, like matriculation and exams. My gown happens to be made for someone much shorter and wider than me, which is the trouble, but I've discovered a way of artfully draping it so that it's not too obvious. :)

Thank you Peggy!
3rd-Oct-2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
I might be worrying ever such a little bit about the essay that I'm going to have to write over freshers' week, because I seem to forget everything I've read the day after I've read it.

Thank God, it's not just me. I'm impressed by the sound of your detailed notes: I have no notes, and upon coming back to the books I had to write my essay on, had to work very hard at remembering who all of the characters were. Some I just gave up for lost.

Good luck with the essay (which you have plenty of time to do, by the way). I can sympathise. For the last few weeks, conversations with my parents have gone one of these ways:

PARENT: How is the reading list going?
ME: Do not say that word.

PARENT: Have you written your essay yet?
ME: Nobutitwillgetdoneiswearohgodpleasestoptalkingaboutit.

PARENT: Verity, do you have plans for this week?
ME:*fails to write essay* *headdesk*

I promise not to use the R word around you.
3rd-Oct-2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
I promise not to use the R word around you.

Bless you! *hugs* I'm going on a quest to find other like-minded fangirls when I arrive. At the interviews, most of the people I met were into drinking....heavy metal...drinking...more drinking.... Do you fancy joining me? :) (And do I have your mobile number by the way? I think you have mine - give me a buzz when you arrive if you find yourself free and with nothing much to do!)

My detailed notes are needed purely because I couldn't remember what the book was about at all three days later. I haven't managed much English reading in case of a re-interview, but I'm going to bring up some folders of A level English notes and hopefully I can cram from those if I need to. Your essay was on Great Expectations, Middlemarch and one other novel, wasn't it? I just finished Middlemarch a while ago - George Eliot is amazing.

Good luck with the essay (which you have plenty of time to do, by the way)

What? Really! What have you heard? :) Sorry to pounce on you - my facebook-college friends and I have been sharing the rumours we've heard. As far as we call tell, we just get freshers week to write the essay. *gulp*
3rd-Oct-2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
What? Really! What have you heard?

Sorry, nothing more than you; that's just what I've been telling myself recently to stop myself freaking out. A week is a long time, after all.

I do have your number, somewhere in my email, and I'll send you mine (as I now have a phone of my own. Well, a hand-me-down from my mother, but still). And yes, I'd love to join you on your like-minded people quest; I can't say heavy metal and drinking are particular interests of mine. (Oh God, why am I even allowed to be a student?)

My essay was on Great Expectations, Hard Times and Bleak House, although I had a horrible nightmare last week that it was also on a few Hardy books, which when I found them were hideously long and written in Spanish. Waking up was such an amazing relief.
3rd-Oct-2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
I just completely failed to reply to your comment and replyed to your post instead, didn't I? Sorry about that.
3rd-Oct-2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
And misspelt "replied". This is getting worrying. *whimpers*
3rd-Oct-2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
It's going to be okay! You have spell check! :)
3rd-Oct-2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
Hooray for spell check!
3rd-Oct-2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Very sensible of you - freaking out doesn't help after all. And there are thousands of people who come out of Oxford with their sanity and lives intact, and if they can do it...

(Oh God, why am I even allowed to be a student?)

I ask that question about myself every day. *pats sympathetically*

:) I've been having tutorial nightmares. Being asked a question by my tutor and going completely blank, or making it very obvious that I haven't done enough reading.
3rd-Oct-2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
Oh God, don't talk about tutorials. They fill me with utter terror.
3rd-Oct-2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Unless you count the way I look in my sub fusc

Seriously? Whoa.

Ro darling, it sounds like you just need a bigger suitcase. One you needn't bounce on.
3rd-Oct-2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
I know that you're right Checkers, I just keep having visions about turning up with my boxes and finding everyone else has compacted their lives into sleek little cases. Very silly - I'll be venturing up into the attic to find a larger suitcase later.

Stopping the bouncing will probably help too. :)
3rd-Oct-2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
I just keep having visions about turning up with my boxes and finding everyone else has compacted their lives into sleek little cases.

Definitely not in my case. My family doesn't even have any suitcases.
4th-Oct-2008 02:09 am (UTC)
I know that feeling! But, later, when they come to you for help because you're prepared and have lots of stuff, you'll feel better. :-) (I was the toolkit last year, and the medicine cabinet, and the library...)
4th-Oct-2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
lol, thanks Willow.
3rd-Oct-2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
I suspect sub fusc doesn't feel so odd when everyone else is wearing it as well. Similarly badly fitting gowns.

Best wishes for coming up to Oxford! Give me a yell if there's anything I can do to help, or when you run out of ice cream funds ;-)
3rd-Oct-2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
My second-year friend assures me that some of the girls choose to wear soft hats instead of the mortarboards, and that they look completely ridiculous in them. I'm counting on this to make me feel better - and as you say - the fact that everyone else will also be stuck in sub fusc too. :)

Thanks Hebe! I'm really not sure that I'd've applied to Oxford if it hadn't been for you showing me around and making it seem like such a nice and welcoming place - so I've partly got you to thank for being about to head up there in the first place. I'm sure I'll bump into you sometime soon. :)
4th-Oct-2008 07:28 am (UTC)
Several things:

- Tutorials are great (from my experience, anyway). They're not interviews, and you're not being graded on them. The tutor isn't there to trip you up. It's just a friendly chat/debate about issues that you yourself raised in your essay. Sometimes you might be challenged to justify a conclusion you reached, and, yes, sometimes your tutor might think you're wrong, but it's done in the spirit of friendly debate, not interrogation. Well, yes, I suppose it must depend on the tutor, but this held true for the c. 8 different tutors I had. Oh, and you often have a tutorial partner to share the load (though I preferred it when it was one-to-one.)

- You'll find plenty of like-minded people. Oxford was the only time in my life when I felt surrounded by people who shared my fannish, geeky interests. You might not find them in your own College, but if you go to Freshers' Fair, you'll find lots of fannish clubs and societies. I never socialised in College at all, but I went out every weekday night to one or other society, and had a great time.

- No-one ever wears the hat part of sub-fusc - or, at least, they didn't in my day. The hat is something you carry to exams, put on the floor underneath the desk, and carry back afterwards. Even my formal group matriculation photo, when everyone is looking shinier and more formal than they will ever look again, has no hats or mortarboards visible (except on laps.)
4th-Oct-2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's really reassuring to hear, on all counts, (and especially about the sub fusc :D). I guess I'm just nervous about coming back to essay writing after a year, and I'm getting the impression that most other people have done a lot more reading that me already. I'm probably just blowing it out of proportion - I'm sure everything will work out once I'm there.
4th-Oct-2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
Tell me, is the story that I once read true, about some student at Oxford demanding beef and ale during exams (or something like that), and producing an old rule that specified that he did have a right to them; so the officials found another rule and fined him for failing to wear a sword when he was supposed to?

You'll do fine, Ro.

And I think the hat and the robes sound really nifty. : )

6th-Oct-2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
daytime TV rules. I'm catching up on all the TV I missed last year at uni by watching Diagnosis Murder, Murder She Wrote and Midsomer Murders in the afternoons. Awesome :D

good luck with the...R word, and uni in general - I'm sure you'll love it :-) xxx
7th-Oct-2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
ah-hahaha. I determined that British TV consists of five types of programmes: 1) the news, 2) the shows that mock the news, 3) bad soaps/reality tv, 4) random documentaries worth watching for the hilarity of the British accent*, and 5) costume dramas.

*note: not sure this applies to actual Brits

I know you're having a fabulous first week right now BECAUSE OXFORD, GORGEOUS, IT IS. :-D
11th-Oct-2008 04:05 pm (UTC) - ?
What's a sub fusc?
Ro! Do you have an email addy?

26th-Jul-2009 07:23 pm (UTC) - In Which Willow Feels The Need to Gratuitously Capslock



27th-Jul-2009 10:06 am (UTC) - In which Ro reciprocates the Gratuitous Capslocking

Hehe, I'm fine, just, as usual, pretty busy. I want to know everything - what've you been getting up to, how's everything going? :)
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