Monday, 27 January 2014
The Eternal Student
Whilst chatting to my host parents this weekend, they explained to me the Dutch concept of the 'eternal student'. As degrees in higher education were previously gifted by the government to those who passed, this facilitated the knowledge hungry to continue straddling the strange world of academia for essentially an eternity. No worries of Student Finance coming and knocking at their door, either. This got me to mourning for the aspects of my own student life, minus deadline/exam stress and living off of cupboard food, that were enjoyable, such as 3pm being an acceptable time to start the day, (in bed). This aside, I began to realise that my current life as an au pair is not so very different from my student one. For a start, in terms of maturity, my two housemates were on par with the five year old I now live with. And let's just say that today was not the first time I have had to deal with the consequences of a poor aim in the bathroom.
I've also gradually become a dedicated library goer during my two free afternoons a week; writing some material, this blog included, and catching some luxury quiet time to read a book. But just as in the University of Nottingham's library, the regulars have to vie for the prime work stations. A decent prime work station boasts plug outlets, comfortable chairs and good angles that mean total privacy during those momentary lapses in productivity, signalled by intermittent Facebook checks. So while it was usually the motivated, foreign body of students that swiftly and sneakily monopolised these work spaces at uni, the tables have turned and I am now that foreigner. I am currently on a mission to commandeer a particularly good spot on the fourth floor that has all the previously mentioned qualities of a work station and so much more. I just need a plan to distract the guy that always manages to get there before me. Also, he never takes off his headphones and is constantly sniggering so I'm guessing he's capitalising on the privacy element of the work station and just watching cat compilation videos on YouTube. He looks like the sort.
There is one thing definitely missing from the university library though and that is bells outside that, at regular intervals, play classic pop songs such as 'Hey Jude', 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and basically anything else you can think of that a bad DJ plays during the last half an hour of a disco. At first these episodes reminded me of something that was rumoured about the torture techniques of Guantanamo Bay; the repetition of well known songs sending people insane. But now, I welcome these little breaks and to be honest might give it a mention to the bell ringers society in my home town where, frankly, the tuneless ringing is less than appreciated. Perhaps a bit of Freddie Mercury on the bells would liven things up a bit...