Lecture hall

Did you really just…? Lectures, part 2.

So already we’ve had people painting their nails and making rather choice interjections…ahem. Moving on from that, since then there have been a number of questionable activities going on in lectures that I just have to highlight for you kind reader folk!

First up happened a few weeks ago, well, it’s ongoing really. I’m prone to a bit of ‘multitasking’, (you could call it that) or getting distracted…as most would probably call it. So, naturally, while typing away I might just open up Facebook or WordPress to see how the world is getting on and of course I’ll open up a video or two; just the usual stuff: cats squeezing into boxes far too small, large people falling over. It was only recently I realised at the end of a psychology lecture that the entire four rows behind me, all female, had completely switched off on the lecture and were solely focused on joining me in watching a baby eat it’s way out of a watermelon. Cutest thing ever, but I had no idea I had an audience! It was so amusing to turn around and see four rows of “awwh”-stricken faces!

Next peculiarity happened this week. I’d perched myself high up, near the back of a lecture hall so as to avoid awkward lecturer-student eye contact. My friends noticed it before I did, the entire row was shaking in a back and forth motion. It got so bad to the point that you couldn’t write in a straight line. Eventually we singled out one fellow sitting in the row in front that had the same rhythm as our row. His arm was under the desk, all I’m saying.

Ok, he was clearly jittering his leg, but it wasn’t immediately obvious! And yes, I know what you were thinking, reader…and you should be ashamed of yourself!

(We were all thinking it, don’t worry).

Anyway, in the same lecture (once the guy in front got tired) we turned to our right and our eyes fell on a girl, in the middle of the hall, shamelessly KNITTING. Full on killer knitting needles and a big ball of wool just click clacking away! I’d quite happily put that in the bizarre category alongside the lass that likes to paint her nails. What goes through someone’s head to make them think:

Oh, do you know what would be an effective use of my time, now? Catching up on my knitting, winter’s coming after all.

I must say, these quirky folk do make lectures interesting. I certainly have my eyes peeled for more shenanigans going on, leave a comment down below if you’ve ever seen someone doing something that was just plain weird in a rather formal setting. Thanks again for reading!

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Did you really just…? Lectures.

I see some ridiculous things day-to-day, but sometimes people really take the biscuit. Lecture theatres are a perfect example of an isolated situation in which I can relate with everyone around me when someone does something stupid. Here are just a few examples:

I was in an English Literature lecture and I started to think I could smell nail polish; knowing this was the last place I’d smell it I waved it off as one of those random smells you just can’t quite place. Then I looked down to the row in front of me and sure enough, to the right, a girl was sitting painting her nails a metallic purple for the entire hall to witness and whiff. The smell was pungent to say the least but the very fact she thought this was, not even just appropriate, but productive to her own studies was hilarious to myself and my peers around me. When she’d finished coating herself in this noxious liquid, she realised she couldn’t type or touch the screen on her relatively new laptop. So she sat and flailed while she missed the best chunk of the lecture. I personally had to hold my nose, not from the smell, just to stop myself from chuckling at her misfortune.

It’s always tense when someone leaves early during a lecture. I’ve never had to, so far, thankfully; but for the people who have to regularly really don’t make it easy for themselves. There was a girl in an English Language lecture that plonked herself down  right in the middle of a row with no easy way to leave early. Generally, I assume, people leave five minutes early to go to another lecture across campus that starts when the current one ends and so they need travel time but help yourself out, people. If you know you have to leave, sit at the end of a row near the door. This girl made the entire row stand up so she could squeeze past with her unnecessarily large bag, so unnecessary for everyone involved. I know that I, with my ounce of humility, would’ve sat through it and just embraced being late to the next lecture; rather than cause that ruckus.

The worst example of someone being absolutely stupid in a lecture so far is, sadly, a result of my own actions. I was in an English Language lecture, we were parsing a sentence (basically, splitting it into nouns, verbs, adjectives, phrases, clauses etc) and the example sentence was: “Tom’s chair broke because he sat on it” or something to that extent. The lecturer was analysing what that sentence was made up of and what it needed to make it a certain type of clause/phrase collective and he said: “So, Tom is a noun and he’s speaking about his chair which is also a noun but what does Tom need to make this a sentence?”

To that I answered (out loud I might add), in front of 150+ people: “a better chair.”

It was one of those horrid moments when you think ‘did I just say that out loud?’ I wanted to curl up into a ball and only emerge when people had long forgotten this cringe-worthy moment. There was a deafening silence for about five seconds, which felt like forever, and the lecturer replied “…yes, that’s a pragmatic approach but I was looking for a verb.” He was a decent guy and ran with it but I felt so idiotic. Shut up next time, Jonathon; keep your thoughts to yourself!

A month of the rest of my life.

I began this blog a few weeks ago, I’d played with the idea of blogging for years and after pursuing many attempts at something solid I couldn’t hold it for any longer than a year. While it was quite successful, I deleted it all. Then I thought long and hard about the title of this blog: The Next Chapter.

I have spent so much of my life worrying about the past and it’s consequences over what might happen in the future that I haven’t been able to enjoy it like I should have. Looking back, that just wasn’t right, nobody should live that way. This is why the title is relevant. I’ve moved to an entirely new country for University, I’ve left my old life and it’s baggage behind and now I’m starting over again. This is the next chapter of my life, and hopefully I go on to live many of them, each more exciting than the one before.

That’s not to say I’ve forgotten what I’ve lived through so far, while I may not be willing to remember certain things there are so many I could ponder on for days, so many amazing experiences and conversations with people from home that I am never going to forget.

It’s so weird to think I’ve been living on my own, away from home, for an entire month now. University was always an idea, a thought, never a reality; now I’m coming to terms with the fact that time is flying and I’m more independent than I ever have been.

That doesn’t mean it’s been completely perfect, oh no no, far from it. From stumbling into lecture halls 20 minutes late to spectacularly sprawling over the subway platform, it’s all already happened and I’m sure I’ll write about those unfortunate events in posts to come.

The wonderful thing about living independently is you get to learn a whole new side to yourself you may not have known. Turns out I can be quite motivated when I want to be, like right now for example; I’ve wanted to post this for a whole month and here I am blasting it out in one fell swoop. I’ve also learnt that I cannot cook, (I’ll be honest and say I always knew that…really) but from that I’ve learnt it doesn’t mean I can’t make do. I’ve known I’m a resourceful person but it’s always been from an academic perspective; I work well under pressure, deadlines and so on, but this time the focus has shifted slightly to include domestic responsibilities. The emphasis is now on what I’m spending daily or what’s for dinner rather than what I’m going to say for third period English Literature in school the next day.

I have heard countless people say that University is just as much about the experience as it is about the education and at this point in my life I think I needed that change. I have time to focus on hobbies such as this blog for example (that I hope I can continue to find time for as University life progresses). I have time to go out there and find new friends, new relationships, a new life entirely.

This is The Next Chapter, and I’ll be damned if it’s not going to be anything but spectacular.