What Happens When I Get Stuck At The Back Of The Lecture Theatre
Usually I sit right at the front of any lecture theatre I happen to find myself in, for the simple reason that it gets you noticed by the lecturers you can hear things better. Today, thanks to whatever genius decided to timetable one of my largest history classes in the smallest theatre available, I ended up sitting right at the back.
I now have some appreciation for what religious converts must feel shortly after they experience divine revelation. See, I had always assumed that students who work hard enough to get into a university actually want to be there. It’s not easy to get in, it sure as hell isn’t cheap (even accounting for my evil socialist government, which pays my tuition), and if you don’t put everything you’ve got into it you’re basically wasting your time. Somehow, this naive idealism managed to survive all through first year, and it is only now at the beginning of second year that I see how completely wrong I was.
I first realized that something was a bit off when the people around me started to talk loudly about how the lecture was ‘shite’ despite the fact that it hadn’t started yet. Something then asked his friends if they were planning on ‘going on the beer’ as soon as it finished. This was at a few minutes past noon. The lecture would be over at one o’ clock.
Anyway, the lecturer arrived and, to everybody’s amusement, had a strong American accent. This was immediately mocked by a group of vacuous girls sitting behind me, which was a bit uncomfortable because I’m originally from New York and sound fairly American myself. The lecture started, they didn’t shut up, and the lecturer naturally told them to be quiet, at which point one of them tutted loudly and said ‘But we need to have a laugh at the back of the room!’
No, irritating teenage girl, you don’t. You can ‘have a laugh’ anywhere you like, but please don’t do it in a place where people are actually trying to learn.
The Irish economy is currently in meltdown, students have less resources than ever, and going to college represents a serious monetary burden on both the government and individual families – especially now that the registration fee has been increased by €500. Yet despite all that, we actually have the opportunity to get a third-level education, something that an awful lot of people around the world never will. Why the hell would you waste it by getting hammered on cheap beer and partying four nights out of every seven?