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By Tom Barker on 26.11.2023

Blog: A fresher perspective Part 6


After a guilt-laden shopping spree last week I couldn’t resist the temptation to pop into The Venue for what seems the fifth “final sale, all stock must go etc” poster sale to personalise my room a bit. Buying a giant poster of the famous skyscraper construction workers eating their lunch in the Manhattan skyline photo was, retrospectively, a fairly stupid thing to do. In the first 2 hours that it was suspended on my wall it seemed to encounter more structural challenges than what probably faced those men building the sky scraper. No matter how much borrowed blue tac I apply, it insists on repetitively falling down.

In fact the past week seems to have been pretty erroneous for me. Having ranted about the buffoons who set off the Darwin fire alarm last week on this blog, Karma came around to issue me with the dunce’s hat. Nearly the same time as the alarm went the day before it went off again. Being in the middle of writing an article for inquire I was casual and took my time. I didn’t even contemplate leaving until I finished my work, defiant of the alarm that I have become almost conditioned to. Eventually, I left having changed into some warm clothes for the inevitable forty minute delay. I casually walked out of the college to discover it was a legal drill and received a deserved earful from the fire safety officer who decided I was the last person to evacuate and thus clocked Darwin’s official evacuation time at an unimpressive 8 minutes. Oops.

The first mistake I made as a fresher (well the first I can think of, the rest are probably shut away in some deep, unreachable part of my psyche) took place just before my first seminar. Now I was unfamiliar with the idea that although seminars are timetabled to start and end on the hour, they actually begin and end five minutes either side of the hour. Being punctual and eager to make a good first impression I checked my phone was un-tamperable, merely being on silent isn’t enough. My phone has a life of its own and is susceptible to playing whatever sound files I get blue toothed at inconvenient times, the 2 most inconvenient times both involved a schools holocaust project I was involved in and the iconic quotes of Borat. When I say holocaust project, it wasn’t a brutal school, we weren’t gassing the “undesirables” (I don’t think it would have made its way onto my personal statement if that was the case), it was an educational project.

Anyway back to the seminar. I decided to go in and meet my new class and they were all far more punctual than I was. In fact they had their books out and even laughed at how late early I was, the seminar leader didn’t find it quite as funny. It was only when I realised my phone’s clock was fast and the books they had out were 3rd year economics that I became aware of the error I made. Deciding I had caused enough of a disruption already I remained in the class, perplexed and mesmerised by the strange array of graphs and parabolas on the whiteboard, waiting patiently for the class to finish and dodging any question fired in my direction.

Needless to say, I haven’t been to any economics seminars since.

Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –
Part 4 –
Part 5 –
Part 7 –
Part 8 –


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