University life, as I have prevously stated, is full of its own financial, emotional, mental and physical stress. Most of this is entrenched and unavoidable; that is, the deadline will always be in place (unless you plan on not completing your course work), the bills will always pile up (unless you take your spare time selling crack), the winter mornings will always be dark as frig (unless you live near the North Pole where they have perpetual daylight for six months a year, but then you might go insane like Al Pacino in Insomnia).
However, that being said, there are plenty of foibles in UFV life, ranging from the mildly annoying to the murderous-tendency-inducing, that we as a body can eradicate. Here are three –
1. Women in class who obsessively touch and move their hair.
I have observed this curious phenomenon take root in classrooms and public spaces around school over the last year or two – women with long hair who cannot keep their bastard hands off of it. It is embodied in a myriad of tactics: plumping it, fluffing it, moving it from behind their shoulders to over their shoulders to back again. Whilst taking notes, whilst sitting down, lining up for a mocha – bullshit. Let me make this clear – this is not a case of a women’s hair getting in their way or causing them discomfort. As a former card-carrying member of the long-hair community (yes, there are cards. And you get a whistle and a legal pad when you sign up) I can understand the rigours and stresses of having long hair. But that of which I speak is not a necessary action to counteract the annoyance of long hair. No, this is an affectation that has been cultivated over time with the desired effect of… who frigging knows? You know how they say that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause on earthquake on the other side of the world? Well, this indulgent, esoteric action, propagated by a poisonous and shadowy element of UFV’s female students, is probably causing black holes to swallow whole alien civilizations every second thanks to their preening, self-aggrandizing, pseudo-idiosyncrasy. And we wonder why we’ve not made contact by now. It’s the hair preening that goes on in classrooms, I tells ya. The only answer is that either the offenders stop or we decide to form a super elite team of barbers – like S.W.A.T. but with razors. We could wipe out this aberration and start a baldy trend at the same time. And I’m pretty sure that we wouldn’t be in contravention of any laws whatsoever.
2. Students who use the word “literally” when they are referring to something that is not to be taken literally.
I suppose this gripe could be placed into the wider context of “students who dress up their comments in class with words that they either do not understand or do not understand their proper and right context,” but I’m going to zone in on “literally” because it’s the first thing I thought of, and I can’t be arsed deleting these last fifty words and typing the whole thing over. Students, you know who you are, and you will be accountable for your crimes to God. Unless you’re an atheist, in which case you’re going to get off scot-free, which is annoying, as the whole judgment-after-death is what keeps me from spraying the corridors with machine-gun fire. But anyway, if you don’t want to be taken at your word, please do not use the word literally.
I know that, at the time, you get all excited at the thought of trotting out your newest linguistic acquisition but – trust me on this one – you sound like a tit when you say that, at the end of the Roman Empire, for the Romans, the world was literally falling apart. It just wasn’t. Please understand that, when you say “literally,” you mean that the thing you are referring to actually happened. If you were scared and you say you “literally” shit yourself with fear, people will assume that you are taking your anecdote from the symbolic and into reality. My wife will probably tell me that I’m being a semantics cop, but fuck that, you’re an idiot. Please don’t do it again (the semantics criminal, that is, not my wife. She’s alright).
3. Students who complain about teachers and then do nothing to remedy the situation
I’ve heard you, you layabouts – all moaning and foaming about how this teacher goes on about this too much, or that prof doesn’t explain something, or how the man who lives in the drain tells you to burn things. The last one is my own particular vice – he says the fires keep him warm in there, and what reason do I have to not do the bidding of disembodied voices? No reason, that’s what reason. To get back onto this semblance of a track, one of the biggest pet peeves we as students have is about something the teacher has done, is doing or will probably do if left unchecked. My counter-peeve is that it is your responsibility and yours alone as a student to direct the class in a way that benefits your education. By this, I don’t mean making your teacher strip to Hockey Night in Canada music but something worthwhile, like explaining something more clearly. Most teachers are borderline mentalists who need to be shepherded along the right pedagogic path. There’s the odd one who has the whole class mapped out and takes you in the palm of their hand for fourteen weeks, but most are barely sentient flesh-boxes of information that have to be shaken out like the crumbs from a Pringles tube.
So, in summation, if we can pull together and overcome these hurdles, UFV will be a better place.
(Not really literally.)