Friday, 4 April 2014

Shut your pie hole, pretty please

This time I want to start the blog post with an encouragement regarding something that has annoyed me for a while now... When you’re in a lecture, or a seminar, or at an event, is it really that hard to just shut your mouth and be quiet? I mean, play Candy Crush on your phone, check Facebook, Instagram or whatever, but do you really have to whisper about the guy you met last night during the lecture? I love gossip, don’t get me wrong, but I’m paying £11,400 a year for this education, and I really want to make the most of these three years. And I bet most of you want the same! We’re spending so much money on getting a proper education, and you’re just going to waste it on talking rubbish during all the lectures? Unfortunately I don’t have the balls to say something, but the lecturer should have. I don’t know why the staff at Brookes just accept that students are being rude during their lectures. It has actually only happened twice at my time here at Brookes that a lecturer has told someone to either be quiet or leave. It really shouldn’t have to be like that. It’s just silly. I can't help myself comparing experiences in Oxford with Norway, but during my two years at university in Norway, if someone had the nerve to giggle and whisper more than "hey, can I borrow a pen?" during a lecture, the lecturer would stop the entire session and ask the student(s) to leave. So with all my humbleness, shut you pie hole. Please :)

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have been quite stressful. I live in a block (off campus), with a really quarrelsome couple living next door, causing me to oversleep on the one lecture I really was looking forward to, due to them having a huge fight. At some point I actually thought she was going to start the Third World War, when she started throwing stuff around the room, smashing things into the wall, where I was trying to sleep on the other side of the paper-thin walls. I’ve never heard a British girl swear that much before. At least something good came out of it, I learned a few new British swear words and got to know all about him cheating. Did I mention that I love gossip? Even when it’s 2 am and my lecture starts at 9 am? At least I managed to drag myself to the gym before lunchtime. If you become a student at Brookes you’ll discover that lunchtime at Brookes Sport is a place you don’t want to be. It's people everywhere you turn. 

Apart from essay writing in sociology and international relations, Brookes has hosted some really interesting debates as well. One of the debates was about how the Cold War was won, lead by Lord Powell, the foreign affairs private secretary during the 1980s. As a student studying International Relations and Politics, I know that the Cold War is going to be a constantly returning topic during my time here at Brookes, so it was a great opportunity to hear Lord Powell’s own experiences and gain some extra knowledge. I didn’t dare to take a picture of him though, he is after all a Lord. No one else was taking pictures of him, and I didn’t want to be the international girl with no manners. The whole Lord thing is also quite intimidating. We don’t have that in Norway, not even a Sir. Am I even allowed to take pictures of a Lord while he‘s telling stories about Margaret Thatcher? And in case you wondered, some students managed to eat crisps and giggle while Lord Powell was speaking. Rudeness! 

The other event was hosted by BROOKESfocus, the newly established Social Sciences Student Association. They hosted their first debate on the topic of whether institutional racism exist in the British criminal justice system or not. The panel consisted of an ex-offender, a barrister, the Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Law at Brookes, and a music writer and activist. It was interesting to hear about their own experiences and opinions, and I’m sure I’ll be able to use it in my exams. Oh, and we got free wine and food, and that’s always good. Hi-fives to BROOKESfocus for hosting such a good and interesting first debate! I'm looking forward to the next one. 

And whilst talking about racism, if you already haven't seen it, the I, too, am Oxford campaign is really something to think about. We should have come further than this in the 21st century. 

Today my Easter break started. I'm really looking forward to two and a half weeks of just doing nothing after having turned in two essays, held a presentation in French as well as a French in-class test. The part about doing nothing is not true though, I have so much exam revision to do with two exams on 7th May and another one the 14th.

If you're as lucky as I am and having an Easter break, enjoy it! Make sure you eat lots of those easter eggs, and just kick back and relax! 

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