Stupidity at University 5 short stories of WTF!?
Amsterdam, 14/15 February 2015 Dear reader, If you are a reader of my blog @ YourfriendLP.wordpress.com, you’ll know that I’m a student struggling her way through a BA. Since this is just an intro and explaining why and how I’m struggling would take a zine(series) of its own, let’s just say that my expectations of how it would be and reality do not match up in any way, shape or form. I do admit that some of my expectations were a bit classist: after working as a secretary and suffering through lunch breaks filled with conversations about diets, complain fests about mothers-inlaw, and pretty fucked up views about society, I figured that everything would be better in the Magical Land of Academia. Oh how wrong I was. In this zine you’ll find 5 Stories of WTF. Please note that the stories contain expletives and are not necessarily funny in a “haha”-way, but I felt I needed to share them with the world anyway. Love, LP
Rape Repellers™ It was a Friday morning, it was early, there was snow, I had class. Thankfully, I also had a pair of bright orange snow boots in which I trudged my way towards our beloved Bungehuis for someclassorother. Feet still warm and only a smidgen late, I got out of the elevator on the fourth floor. There I was greeted by one of my classmates, who gleefully pointed at my boots, said: “Ha! Those boots are so ugly, you’ll never run the risk of getting raped!” and opened her textbook.
Keep it up! I was waiting in line for the bathroom, when this girl from my class who had never so much as answered my “Good morning” suddenly started talking to me: “Did you lose weight?” I just stared at her for 3 seconds, because seriously? First of all, in which reality is this an appropriate conversation starter in general? Second of all, in which reality is this an appropriate conversation starter with a person you don’t know anything about? And third of all, damn girl, you’ve been at this university for 2 years now, don’t you have a more, say, intellectual topic of conversation? She continued “Yeah, you really did lose weight!” Although I very well knew that I hadn’t, I refuse to engage in diet-talk, so I tried to deflect from the topic by casually going “Oh, I don’t keep track, I am chronically ill and have water retention issues so my weight tends to fluctuate”.
Usually throwing in “chronically ill” shuts people right up, but not this girl. “Well, keep doing what you’re doing then, because it works for you!” she said and got into one of the cubicles, leaving not only me but all the other ladies waiting in line looking at each other incredulously.
Discrepancy “Trust me, she’ll help you out, she’s really good at these things!” N had said, and trusting her I did, so I made an appointment with H. I carefully crafted an email for four hours, which she replied to quickly and we set up an appointment. H welcomed me into her office and we started discussing my issue. I told her that I was considering giving up this whole get-a-BA thing, but was at the same time terrified of making the worst mistake of my life. I talked about how hard it was, how stupid and incompetent I felt, about the shit grades, about the crying in toilets. I explained to H how I had had certain reasons to go back to university as an adult and how none of these things were working out for me. That I was trying so hard, to no avail, that my already bad health was suffering. How miserable I was and how I really, really didn’t want to be there anymore. By that time I was crying the ugliest of ugly-cries.
H, the self-proclaimed beacon of feminism of the university, then looked at me and asked:
â€œIs it because of a guy?â€?
Lost in Translation? Late-ish as often, I shuffled in the direction of the elevators. The guy standing in the elevator saw me approach and kept the door open. Wheezing, because I just ran up the entrance stairs while holding my breath as to avoid second hand smoke, I thanked him and started digging in my bag for my inhaler. Through my steamed up glasses I could see that he was about half my age, so most likely also a student. The elevator started moving up. While I inhaled, he all of a sudden said: “Are you warm?” Let’s see, dude: it’s 22 degrees (71,5F) outside. I am carrying two heavy bags. You just saw me RUN towards the elevator. My glasses are steamed up, and the inhaler should give you a clue that I’m asthmatic, so whaddayathink? Being less of a dick in real life than in my head, as we passed the third floor I answered: “Yes, I am actually quite warm right now, I was just running”, to which he said “You are wearing too many clothes”.
I looked at him. Could I respond smart ass style, or would I have to physically fight the guy? He just looked at me like he’d said something along the lines of “Nice weather outside today, hmm?” The elevator had reached the fourth floor. Deciding that smart ass would do, I calmly said: “No, I don’t” and exited the elevator thinking “DAFUQ is up with people?!” It was only a year and a half or so later that I realised that Elevator Dude had probably meant to say that I was wearing a lot of clothes considering the weather, which was (and always is) true, and was suffering from some Dutch-to-Englishtranslation issues, but still: DAFUQ!?
Too late It was a Very Bad Day: my cat had just been diagnosed with cancer, my printer broke down in the middle of printing out a fellow student’s paper and I was still finishing up my own essay about 36 minutes before the deadline. Due to sheer magic, I managed to run into the Bungehuis at 17:04. Stressed out, mostly because I was not only handing in my own paper, but also a fellow student’s and I didn’t want her to get in trouble because of a case of Me Being Late, I speed walked towards the elevator that was opening its doors. Some guy, who I figured had to be a fellow student who had just handed in his own paper, stood in the elevator and despite having no clue who he was, I said hi. By that time I was pretty much flustered-on-the-brink-of-crying, my wig looking like a poofy mess. As he stepped out of the elevator, he gave me an evil grin and jeered: “Too laaate!”
Multitasking genius that I am, I managed to simultaneously go “WAIT!? WHAT?!” and step into the elevator. I yelled after him: “Do you think this funny?” to which he said, in the most assholish mocking tone I’ve ever heard anyone over the age of 4 produce, “Yes, I think that’s funny!” and just laughed at me. I lost my cool, yelled “Fucking wanker!” just before the door closed, but managed to only start crying uncontrollably in the fourth floor hallway after handing in the papers.