Friday, 2 October 2009

I Hate... Overly Zealous Administration / “Great endowments often announce themselves in youth in the form of singularity and awkwardness.”

So this week saw me being inducted to the institution of Reading University.

Allow me to guide you through ‘Fresher’s Week’.

MONDAY: I turn up to my 'Academic Welcome'. Lovely, nice to be welcomed, but people quickly shift away from me when I tell them I don't reside in student halls and I don't seem all too interested in hearing about the super-fun party they had in their kitchen last night. We are then made to make idle conversation with the unknown beings around us. Cue people being intrigued and astonished when they find out I commute all the way from the far away and mystical land of Wiltshire.

TUESDAY: Time to register for my subject. By all means everyone seems affable, but again shock pervades them when they realise I have to get a bus and a train to study. Students are doing/playing (I do not know the correct verb when it comes to poi) poi. I went to ask for a campus tour from an older student. He kindly lifted his flabbergasted body from the 'help desk', heavily sighed and muttered, "Umm, alright then. If I have to." I tell him the exact buildings I need to find for my lectures but he insists on showing me Robotics and IT instead.

WEDNESDAY: I attend the scheduled briefings for my chosen subjects only to be turfed out and told I don't need to be there. I try to sort out my student card but my online enrolment hasn’t been processed. At this point it is made clear to me that my appointed student number is now superior to both my first and last name when identifying myself to others. I also get chatting to a girl, who at first I seem to have much in common with; both studying English, both had a 'gap year' (I hate that term. It immediately makes people think I've gone on some egotistical trip to the Balearic Islands to 'find myself' and get in touch with the something bigger than our transient existence here on earth) and also tried university last year. But it turns out she's a casual racist, so I nipped that friendship in the bud.

THURSDAY: Fun and games at the English Welcome 'Parties'. Everyone is made to where stickers with their names on, thus reducing us all to looking at one another's breast bones to find out each other’s names. We're also made to play 'ice breaker' games; needless to say, the outcome was highly uncomfortable and could have been an outtake from The Office (the UK version, definitely not the US).

FRIDAY: Day off. Stayed home and watched 'Will & Grace'. God, I wish I was Karen Walker. She's so fucking sassy.

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