“I won’t lie to you, Bidwell, we are in a LOT of trouble here.”

On Monday, you could tell it was an essay deadline day from the way every last computer in the Library had one student on it trying to print things out and one student looking over their shoulder to see if they’d finished yet.

I am deeply, deeply unimpressed with University IT. Running Office 07 is annoying as it is. Running Vista – on max graphical settings – is unforgivable. Because of the utterly pointless bloated crap freezing up the mid-spec university computers, I spent a total of ten minutes quietly cursing the machine before I got a printout. I probably would have gone down to IT and shouted at them had I not needed to sprint up to the History office and hand my stuff in.

For the last seminar of the term, it was so foggy one could stand at the base of the clock tower and still not see the top. Stuart’s assessment of my Somme presentation and general Focused Study performance used the phrases “great enthusiasm” and “rapid development”. All very ego-boosting.

Louis said of a frosty Friday morning a few weeks ago that War Studies folk seemed a cut above the average glassy-eyed history student; more enthusiastic, better motivated. That might just be egotistical exceptionalism. It might be a shared feeling that having picked such a ridiculous niche subject we’re damn well going to excel at it. But in comparison to what I’ve seen of people on non-WOR courses… it applies. For me, returning to education is a fresh new experience after a year of un-stimulating, basically pointless work and mindless squandering of spare time. It’s different, it’s something worth striving for, and best of all it’s fun. But for a lot of people, it seems that university is a logical stage they’ve been expecting all their life, just another continuation of boring spoon-fed schoolwork, and they feel no urge to apply themselves any more than they did at school. I mean, satellite photography on the Somme?

That gap year may have been a really good idea after all.

Final week’s expenditures: £27.31
Total outgoings this term: £488.87 living & £275 EP Report – £763.87
Average: £40.73/week. Unless I’ve miscounted weeks or something.


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