Friday, July 31, 2009

Literary Insights for New Judeans

JUDE has its own set of unique experiences, revelations, and wacky one-liners to give to every new batch of undergrads who come in. Some of the funniest and most relevant lines that struck us as amazing are :-

Hardy's novel - 'At all important junctures in her life, it is profoundly astonishing that Tess should always have been either unconscious or asleep.'

In the context of the Marquis de Sade during the French Revolution - 'A hundred years later, that toilet paper was in fact found, with all the pornographic content intact.'

On Romantic poets - 'They were the first rockstars. Sex, drugs, rock 'n roll - they did it all.'

About the Victorian age - 'Organized religion shook on its foundations before Darwin and his madcap theories about evolution.'

On Oedipus Rex - 'The man wasn't stupid. He just had incredibly bad luck.' (condensed for my readers, who would hesitate to continue if I were to show off by spouting terms like hubris and catharsis.)

On Ledge Dynamics - 'Between you and me, I think lollipops taste better than magic pop candy. Monday, we should try lemon.'


'Dude looks pretty with the bow-clips in his hair.'


'With great umbrellas comes great responsibility. Stop hitting me with that godawful striped thing.'

and of course

'I wonder if you know, how we live in Tokyo' at random moments from phones across the corridors, accompanied by at least three girls dancing down to it.

Ah, the funkiness of it all. And we're just getting started.

Suggestions for more one-liners will be welcomed with multiple smiley faces and lots of love. Good night and good weekend, people.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Update

The things I learned at JU this week are:

1. When the teachers say they want to confuse you by giving you contradictory essays to read, what they mean is - 'I will mumble so much you won't understand me, but soon you will learn to lipread and then I will find words to mouth that will confuse you much, much, more than Lovejoy's three-page sentences ever could.'

2. Icky Pink Day - What is it? Why do the seniors do it? The use of the word *icky* suggests that they are aware that pink is, in fact, icky; yet they persist in gross sartorial misjudgments and blot the landscape with splashes of maroon, fluorescent half-red, and baby pink. Pink suits only one out of every six of them, and the worst offenders are those who think that they're that one. Possibly they are trying to out closet homosexuals/revert to the flowerchild age/trigger a sartorial revolution/be funny/scare juniors/all of the above. Or maybe they just like pink. But why?

3. Getting Punk'd - was not so bad. Come on, a fake assignment that everyone except me apparently saw through? Saved me getting politicized, but apart from that.......

4. Library Cards - specifically, getting them, require several hours of training in advance and should be included as an Olympic event sometime in the next couple of centuries, when Judeans take over from the Freemasons (or the Illuminati or the aliens or the Brotherhood of Microsoft Executives or whatever cult you think has it going on) as the shadowy reins behind world domination. And while we're on the topic, fuck you, B*thune website administrators! Still think I'm not good enough for you?? In yo face!

5. Adjustment - Jude was an awakening in many ways, and certainly the unspoken glamour hasn't rubbed off yet; but at the same time the size of the workload and the amount of potential work involved requires some serious thought before I shelve it until there is a test to pass or something. I mean, it's not that I work that well under pressure so much as I don't work at any other time.

So there you have it. Thoughts? I will update again next week probably, and if I stay strong I will hopefully stop myself from buying something in pink with a cute quote about frogs and/or che guevara. Good night, and good week to you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

After the First Day

You know how I said today would be a cool day? Well, there were two introductory classes, a three-page long reading list and two essays to learn, and a librarian who refused us entry to the hallowed portals of his domain without our cards. *Sigh* At least I was right about the pressure. And at least I had the rest of the day free for a fond culinary goodbye to a dear friend who very considerately picked up the tab.

And now to write/study/loaf. Or possibly all three. Good evening, everyone.

Monday, July 13, 2009

On The First Day at JU

Being a brand new college student, and also being a part-time whacked-out blogger, I intend to start this blog with a judicious mix of awed respect for JU itself, and my almost-copyrighted trademark of flippancy; or as many like to call it, downright cussedness to the nth degree. Therefore I shall begin with a tactful description of yesterday's orientation programme, and later progress to descriptive accounts of life at Joo, and deep and meaningful insights into the purpose of existence - most of which will be completely and utterly irrelevant to your life, but you'll read it anyway because it's just plain fun to watch someone else struggle like that.

Yesterday, the first year undergraduates were herded into an AC room and told to sit and stay there. Noting the marked resemblance of the seniors' general behaviour to us as compared to that of the trainers to puppies at a canine obedience school, some of us soon grew restless and ventured outside to the ledges. No sooner had the first of us started imitating lemmings, however, than we saw a distinguished looking gentleman heading towards the room we had just vacated. As he passed along the corridor, it became rapidly clear that many of the senior female students have been gently crushing on him for years. Ignoring the languishing sideways glances, he strode in and the orientation started.

Possibly the coolest thing about JUDE, that is to say the Jadavpur University Department of English, is that the teachers look like the composite characters from any given season of CSI Miami, CSI New York, or possibly Bones. There's the authoritative team leader, the two to five responsible departmental seniors, the wacky younger guy who is restless and appears to be a misfit but really isn't, the nerdy female character who is not only brilliant but can also kick ass on the field, and an assortment of consultative experts. JU students will know who I mean, but in the meantime I'd rather not be sued for slander or defamation by an angry student body who are all part of 'Follow-that-professor' cults. There is also a sage/wise man/son of unknown divine entity, who is frickin' well awesome.

The campus is big-ass, naturally, and there are more turnings and ponds and landmarks than a mall architect ever dreamed of. I greatly appreciate the open spaces to breathe, and the library is of course stupendously well-spoken of, but my favourite part of the grounds are the shady walks that look like verdant nature fading into the distant horizon. As a lover of nature, skyscapes, and peace and quiet, I will now take this opportunity to swoon with delight at the very thought.

The academic load is challenging rather than daunting; thankfully I'm as competitive as hell, or I might be crying forlornly at the size of the syllabus and the semester exam system right now. The book shop Worldview is also rather interesting. I will leave in about ten minutes for the first day of classes, where the pressure will be bloody well ON; but hopefully I'll have time to explore further and get back to you.

In the meantime, good day to you all. I'm a Judean now, so I'll have far more fun today than I possibly ever had before; but I don't want you to feel left out, so here's a smiley face :-) and thoughts of chocolate cake to you. So long.