I just wasn’t getting this studying lark. I foolishly thought I’d be learning about Mental Health nursing but we had so many seminars and lectures about all the oligies like sociology, biology, physiology and psychology, trotted out by bored lecturers using big words. By the time I’d figured out how to spell sternocleidomastoid*, the topic had moved on and my notes had more holes than Swiss cheese.
Another bugbear was the alarming amount of classes we had to endure each week in communication and interpersonal skills. People just have these, right? Hmm, the shoving and pushing together with the teeth clicking and tutting, rattling newspapers, talking or sleeping through lectures and being generally disruptive in class should have been enough of a clue.
It’s been said that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Well, I beg to differ here because some students asked stupid questions, argh! with disturbing regularity. Just kill me already! ‘It says here to write my name in black ink, does that mean I can’t use a blue pen?’ And these same students managed to interrupt and disrupt lessons with their stupid questions, so much so, that the topics were cut short, meaning we had to go through the whole bloody lesson all over again in a few days.
Three months in and just before Christmas, we were given an essay to complete over the festive period, something like ‘How is my life is different since starting Uni.’ Ok, that sounds simple enough. Or it did, until I got it home and read how I had to write in an ‘academic’ manner, using references and to use ‘reflection in and on action.’ I’d only passed a few GSCSs and as far as I can remember, we didn’t use referencing and not one of them mentioned ‘reflection’ or ‘academic writing’. I re-wrote this essay so many times, trying to sound clever but failing miserably and just feeling even more stupid. What, with this and the bubble gum blowing class disruptors, boredom, big words and stupid people, I was wondering if uni was the place for me.
What example would I have set for my sons had I not completed the essay and got a whopping seventy eight per cent as a result?
Note to self: “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth (and fifth) tries.” – James A Michener
*One of two thick muscles running from the sternum and clavicle to the mastoid and occipital bone; turns head obliquely to the opposite side; when acting together they flex the neck and extend the head