The musings of a silly student... And not much else.

The musings of a silly student... And not much else.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Out of gas, out of road, out of car, I don't know how I'm gonna go...*

My pocket money for February has officially run out. No more hiding, no denying. On what, you ask? I have absolutely no idea. I tried to keep my slips, but they got lost with my recycling paper and, as a result, were recycled (at least I promoted the interests of the environment if not the interests of my pocket).

Mom, I think I will make an appeal to you tonight. Be prepared. Both of my pairs of shoes broke, I had to buy laundry supplies, I need to pay Benjamin back my part of our Haralambos, M. and Holborn, M. 2004. Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. (6th ed.) London: Collins (textbook), I need water because our water is filled with aluminium to kill all the stomach bugs in it (I know, I thought so too) and I must appeal that one week in February has single-handedly engineered my demise: Benjamin's birthday followed by our ten-month anniversary celebration and a dash of Valentine's Day. A recipe for disaster.

Sometimes I think about money. It is such a bizarre concept. Paper that is utterly meaningless drives people to sleep with, befriend, hurt and brutally murder each other. What for? It would be exactly the same if we were still trading in shells or pine nuts. Why this need for accumulating more and more and more of such an intangible, transient idea? When you remove yourself from the situation, you see how absolutely futile it actually is.

I think I have shown that I, as an 18-year-old student, possess over incredible insight. I think that is more than enough of that. I still need money.

Classes are going very well. Have I explained the concepts of lectures and tutorials to you yet? Lectures are big "talks" we are given in groups of about 200 to 300 students, in a big lecture hall. You all know what a lecture is. Nobody knows if you are actually attending them, no homework is dished out and nobody actually cares but you.**

Tutorials, on the other hand, are an absolutely crucial part of university. For each subject I take, I have four lectures and one tutorial. For English Literature I have three lectures and two tutorials. Tutorials are small classes of about 10 to 15 students and are led by a Masters or Honours student in the subject. The focus is on preparation and discussion. All assignments are handed in here and discussion and understanding takes place here. If you do not attend 80% of tutorials, you lose your Duly Performed Certificate and are not allowed to write your exams.

Sociology: Tutorials require a typed essay once a week.
History: Preparation for the discussion of a certain topic and at times, essays and assignments.
English: Written answers to questions (for personal use) which will be discussed in class and paragraphs (to be handed in) twice a week. Assignments and essays will start soon.
Economics: Two essays and multiple choice questions with typed explanations once a week.
JMS: One or two reports once a week, I'm not too sure about how this one will work just yet.

I need to go have some lunch now, and after that I will start reading Hamlet. Reading? For university? Bring it on!


* Modest Mouse - Out of Gas
** I attend all my lectures, Mom!


  1. My arme kind! Troos jou maar daaraan dat jy nou lid geword het van die wereldwye geledere van The Body of the Starving Student. Jy bly darem in 'n KOS-huis. Gelukkig is Februarie 'n kort maand. Ek was self nooit suksesvol met die slippies-hou metode van budget nie, maar as ek myself forseer om elke sent wat ek uitgee dadelik in 'n notaboekie neer te skryf, en dit onmiddelik af te trek van die vorige balans, het dit my nogal gehelp om tot aan die einde van 'n maand te survive.

    Dit klink asof jou program jou goed besig hou! Hoe kry mens a daai werk gedoen? Lekker ou Willem Waggelspies - enjoy!

  2. Ok, ok. Consider the money that I am transferring into your bank account the first money you have ever received for your writing! You are now officially a "professional" writer.

    Your very well written plea for financial aid has bought you my commitment to alleviate your financial plight somewhat. I will deposit your March pocket money early, R100 for shoes and R200 for the sociology textbook.

    Now, for for the motherly advice that I am allowed to dispense because I have paid for the right: listen to ouma and keep track of where your money goes. Also draw up a proper budget (at the beginning of the month!) so that you have a picture in your mind of what you are allowed to spend.

    I love you so much, my daughter! Go. Indulge in some Kaylalitis and buy a pair of sandals.