When you first move into the dorms, and you have your first fire drill, there is always a dark thought in the back of your mind. They tell you the fire alarm could go off at any time and you should always be prepared. Be ready to go outside at a moment’s notice – don’t take anything except your keys, just go because the dorm could be about to collapse. When they tell you that everyone always thinks, but what if I’m in the shower? Of course, you have to go outside anyway, no matter what.
Well, I’m still here. In Belfast, that is. While many people finish up their study abroad and are ready to start up school again in the winter, I’m on a different track. I keep getting emails from C of I people welcoming me home, and have to answer them with a deferral, explaining that I actually won’t be back until Spring term. Not that I mind, I like getting C of I emails. It reminds me that I have a spot waiting for me.
Let me just say that at first, I was not ready to come back to school after break. Don’t get me wrong – I love winter term. It’s just that this break seemed so…short. Maybe that’s because I slept for at least half of the first week I was home, but probably not. Or maybe because I wasn't looking forward to leaving for Paris once I got back. But anyway, now that I’m back, I’m starting to get into the swing of things again.
Sure, there are a lot of things that you can count on me for—unnecessary Star Trek trivia, poorly-timed slow clapping, lofty sarcastic asides, etcetera, etcetera—but, when the going gets tough and you find yourself without a pulse, do not call me. Unless you want the last thing you hear in this lifetime to be my indifferently sighed “ah, jeez, that’s gross.”
I’m a little late on posting this. I was in the middle of Lord of the Rings marathon and kind of forgot that life existed outside of Middle-earth and my bed for a few days. I’m not going to apologize because I literally regret nothing.
So, let’s get started. Entirely in-relation to my week in Middle-earth, this week’s post is dedicated to my main man, J.R.R. Tolkien. J Tolks, as I call him.
This is my fifth round of finals and, to be honest with you, I am not a fan. I disagree with the premise of them. Mainly because I’ve spent my entire life with Harry Potter, so I know how easily final exams can be cancelled. Hogwarts cancelled final exams ALL THE TIME—too bad if you’ve spent weeks studying for your advanced potion-making final, Harry Potter discovered the power of friendship or whatever and now exams are cancelled.
It’s wet and windy in Belfast today, and what hint there was of the sun has been gone since before 4. After a seminar this morning, and a poetry seminar tonight, I’m back in my room, with my back to the radiator. C of I is about to plunge into finals, and it’s a little strange to not have the same encroaching deadlines. Since my five essays aren’t due until Jan. 12th, I’ve only got two of them in progress. The poetry essays will get a start tomorrow though, so that my thoughts will have enough time to stew over the Christmas holiday.
You can tell when the season has come. The number of people in your morning class with coffee in hand has doubled, if not tripled. Eyes are red, with darker and darker circles underneath. Everyone is wearing sweatpants and pajamas to classes and no one even cares. Yes, it’s easy to tell when Dead Week is upon us and finals approach more quickly than anyone would like to acknowledge. In fact, this past Dead Week, I had to pull an almost-all-nighter to write a paper and stayed up later than I have ever previously had to while doing homework.
The old adage goes “Those who can’t do, teach” which is a subtle, yet beautifully effective backhanded compliment to deliver to someone. I disagree with premise of it, however. I think it’s unfair and it doesn’t make me laugh, which is literally the only qualification I have for whether or not I like something.
I offer, instead, this counterpoint of sage wisdom: “those who are woefully unqualified to do, tutor.”