Saturday, April 30


'It's that time of the year..."


'...when The Student contemplates deferring uni again."

'But, he can't. He'll wind up being at uni until he is 25.'

'But maybe he feels marketing isn't for him. Maybe wants a change."

'Shite. A change to what? He's only thinking this shit because he wants an authoritative way to explaining away the fact he's lazy and unmotivated when it comes to doing study.'

'No. No. Maybe he needs time. maybe The Student just needs to kick back and relax..."

*sighs* 'We've been through this before. He's deferred before."

"Maybe he needs... Maybe he's needs to travel. Maybe he needs to backpack. Maybe he needs to 'just get away' - you know, see...the world. Maybe he needs to do all those things that people in directionless aimless lives tell themselves they will do in six months time as an antidote to their pangs of self doubt and fears of social obsolescence."

'Oh fuck up. He's a twat. He considers deferring because he doesn't want to do a single bit of study, turn a single page of a single text book, or show up to a single lecture. There's no great sea of melancholy, haunting stare into the distance shit about this - he's just fucken lazy..."

"Hey guys. What are you whispering about?"

"Hi - The Student, we're whispering about The Student."

"Hey man. Fuck.. why do we always whisper? Even when we're arguing. It's bullshit. I've forgotten how to speak at a normal tone. Why're you here anyway?"

"Oh I'm here to help you salvage this painfully self deprecating post with a punchline. The chick from the first series who also sang and played guitar and may-or-may-not have been pregnant is here too."

"Hey guys!"

"Hey, weren't you the pink Power Ranger?"



(Yeah I'm here okay.)

Our marketing group assignment group finally met last week to discuss how immeasurably fucked we are.

The verdict: We're immeasurably fucked.

For the first four weeks the group existed, but never met. This is despite two (Left and myself) of the four person group showing up to every tute, the other two were never there. I'm not really a stickler for people being all on time and there and shit, so this is fine by me. One of two no-shows, Swaziland, wrote me an email which included the most sincere thing a fellow group member has ever said:

"I'm not going to make excuses, just let me assure you that I DO NOT intend to be one of those group assignment leeches after a free ride."

This is fucking great to read, because I was planning on being the free ride leech.

Last week three of us, Left, Swaziland, and myself, met to discuss how we would divide up the 4,500 word assignment. This degenerated into an hour of looking at each other and saying, "Hmmm..." and "Geezzzz..." Without going into too much detail, we have to prepare a creative marketing campaign for a prominent company of our choice. We switched from our original choice, Nike (the idea of Left and Unofficial Forth Member of the Group [4th]), to National (Australia) Bank - largely at my insistence.

There are two reasons I wanted to do this,

a) Nike is well known and has a set image, brand and slogan. NAB is well known yet has no commonly known image or slogan - therefore making it easier for us to develop a fresh campaign.

b) Every year 15 groups do Nike. We're not falling into the trap of picking the most popular company and thereby being compared to the 6 other groups who chose Nike this semester, and the other 908 Nike assignments the tutor has marked in the past.

This is similar to politics and history essays I have done in the past, where it's best to chose the question no one else is doing because it's easier to stand out, and the tutor isn't completely jack of reading 900 word essay after 900 word essay pitifully answering 'Is Australia a liberal democracy?' or 'Identify and analyse the causes of the French Revolution.'

(For the record I did essays on the role of third parties in the Senate; and on the Irish Revolution [yeah they had one too!].)

Left is a good bloke, but I couldn't resist baiting him:

The Student: "Nah come on mate, are you sure you're okay with doing National Bank? I don't want you sitting there at 10pm tonight saying, 'Fucken NAB - I fucken hate that student, stupid prick. I want to do Nike.' You've got to be okay with this mate, are you okay with it?"

Left: "Yeah."

The Student: "Nahhhhh. I'm sensing phonecall to the tutor complaining about the choice of NAB. I can smell it mate. I can feel angry drunken complaining to your friends tonight, late night complaining about that dick in your group who thought Nike wouldn't work out."

Left: "No. No, it's fine."

The Student: "Sure?'

Left: "Sure."

*ten minutes and random aimless conversation pass*

The Student: "Nah come on, Nike was like you're baby. You loved it. You’re hurting right now - you sure you're okay?"

Left: "Fuck, it's fine!"

Last week we resolved to go away and do our work and return today. Guess who couldn't make it for 'work reasons' today? Guess who realised two days ago he was meant to have about 500 words ready? Guess who slept in this morning? Guess who likes asking needless rhetorical questions for weak and almost nonexistent humourous value?

Right now the group is in a delicate spot, we are yet to shake out the lone group member who winds up doing 70% of the work. Each group assignment there is one, and we are yet to see who it will be. My money is on Swaziland.

It sure as fuck isn't going to be me.

Sunday, April 17

Ultimate Frisbee

Interested in ultimate frisbee? Come along to the pool lounge, SARA, 12noon.

Yess..... well, major defeat here on the University front. Stats flogged my ass into withdrawing from it again. There's no way of putting it other than I got freaked out by it and flat out shat myself. It's not recorded as a fail, but it's a waste of my time.

Withdrawing did afford me the opportunity to once again visit Room 208 and hang out with all the psechedalic groovers. While I made apolagetic faces and spoke to the same girl on the far left of the room as i walk in, I realised this is the 4th time I have withdrawn from this subject. I suck.

Why do I do this? Why do I fear sitting in a tute and looking stupid?

Who fucking cares. I quit the subject, lets get back to focusing on the important stuff, like mid-April warmer weather and luscious expanses of cleavage at Uni.

The past week has been spent staring at a pile of reading that needs doing. The coming week will be spent doing reading, primarily because a) I have a mid-semester test this week, and b) because there is a tute I haven't attended once. Time to get cracking!

How impossibly cool does Ultimate Frisbee sound?

Thursday, April 7

. . . these are the day of our lives.

Check out part one here.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2005.

I'm collecting a course guide front the front of a lecture when I get a tap on the shoulder.

Gary: "Hi. How was your summer?"

The Student: "Yeaahhh, not bad man, yourself?"

Gary: "Yeah, not good. I went and met Nicole's parents and we had a figh..."

Lecturer: "Can everyone please take their seats?"

The Student: "Ahh..."

Gary: "..."

The Student: "I'll catch up with you."

I haven't seen him again, so I haven't been able to get the rest of the story. It's now pretty safe to say that they were in fact seeing each other. This is great because Nicole was 100% hot; also, given Gary's eagerness to tell me that there was a fight with Nicole's parents, it'd be fair to say they've arrived at Shitsville with an almighty crash.

Two weeks ago I caught up with Matt in a cafe at Uni to collect a text book off him. We got to talking and eventually the subject got to Gary and Nicole, because primarily we are nothing if not salacious gossipmongers. It turned out that Matt had had the same conversation with Gary, but his was uninterrupted.

The Student: "So what happened?"

Matt: "Well he went to visit her parents..."

The Student: "In Taiwan?"

Matt: "Yeah! All the way to Taiwan! When he got there her parents weren't impressed. They had a huge argument, and she was forbidden..."

The Student: "Forbidden?"

Matt: "Forbidden, from going back to Australia. They didn't let her leave Taiwan."

The Student: "Fuck!"

So it turns out that not only were they going out, but he had travelled to the orient (because that sounds way cooler) to meet her parents. They didn't approve of him, more than likely because of his ethnicity.

Gary returned to Australia empty handed, having had Nicole's parents take her from him and deny the romance between two star crossed lovers.

Wednesday, April 6

The Comedy Festival

A few years ago, myself, Cavalier and The Rep, of Fit of Rage semi-fame, went to the Comedy Festival.

Arriving late for a short show by apparently up and coming comedic performer Terri Psiakis, we had the unenviable task of sitting front row, centre.

In the middle of her routine, Tsiakis rolled into a joke along the lines of ‘…Deakin University students are all bogans.’

Noticing The Rep digging his elbow into the ribs of Cavalier, a Deakin student at the time, Tsiakis asked Cavalier if he went to Deakin.

After he nodded and meekly said yes, she piped up:

“Well that’s nice. And wearing jeans. Dressing formal tonite.”


Lately I have been re-reading a cherished favourite from my late teens, On The Road. In it I found a passage written by author Jack Kerouac in 1957, which summed up the malaise that besets young men.

"When I found him in Mill City that morning he had fallen on the beat and evil days that comes to young guys in their middle twenties. He was hanging around waiting for a ship, and to earn his living he had a job as a special guard in the barracks across the canyon."

(For the record, I'd give my left nut to be able to say I did anything across the canyon.)

The character Kerouac describes is listlessly floating through the ether of a mid 1950's serviceman shack community life. Dirt poor, he meekly lives out his week so he can dress up and spend his wage in a blinding flash of rich civility in L.A. on Saturday night with his girl Lee Ann. He is floating through his life, week to week, without direction or comprehension.

With friends of mine who are in a similar age bracket (22-23), including a few who are older (25-26), I've often discussed the random nothingness that is being a young man in your twenties.

Trapped in a largely directionless life following highschool of either tertiary education, a trade, full-time work, or nothing, we collectively battle against the crisis of identity and purpose we are floundering in. I guess the crux of the argument is that young men have no sense of purpose anymore.

The days of lifetime job certainty are well and truly over, in it's place we have the dog-eat-dog society of 'me first' and little reassurance but for self reliance.

These generations have no war to fight, no bridge to build, no mountain to climb. At the turn of the previous century, young men went to war in South Africa for 'a sense of adventure'. Instead we backpack and go on nigh-club tours.

At the age of 24, explorer Matthew Flinders circumnavigated and mapped Tasmania, proving to the white world that Van Diemens Land was infact an island. He was also the first to suggest that Terra Australis be renamed Australia.

At the age of 23, I sleep in and moan about driving the 37 kilometres to University if it's raining. I have named several family pets.

We're soft, foolish, and no where near headstrong.

The gap between completion of our teens and the commencement of the commitment trinity of marriage, mortgage and fatherhood is growing ever wider, as society revolves towards increasingly costly home ownership, late 20s marriages and early 30s childbirth.

While this gap increases, this stretch of uncharted and uncertain water becomes the domain of the purposeless young man. There is nothing to fill this gap, except it appears, a great deal of lethargy, ignorance, and apathy; and for many, weekends spent drowning unknown sorrows at the bottom of pint glasses at cheap suburban nightclubs.

Tuesday, April 5

Like sands through the hourglass...

During the cold and desolate second semester of 2004, at a bleak university, in a small broom closet that doubled as a tutorial room, four young people came together to form a group.

Comprising of Matt, Gary, Nicole (not their real names) and myself, the group came together to work on a Marketing assignment.

Gary was a very polite Indian guy, who was an astute and dedicated student.

Nicole was a pretty and alarmingly well spoken Taiwanese girl, who was on exchange.

Matt was a normal, average suburban guy who played in a band, not dissimilar to myself (apart from the band bit).

Everyone got long really well, and the group set itself towards collating information, and drafting a 4500 word marketing report.

After a few group meetings, Matt and myself both noticed that Nicole and Gary seemed pretty friendly, like, matey friendly. This in itself isn't that important, but you probably couldn't get two more diametrically opposed people who could be friends. Although, University has a tendency of doing this, people are thrown in tutes together often resulting in a United Nations style mixes of students, creating friendships that traverse a rainbow of.... nationalities.

Matt is a very articulate and classicly apathetic about University guy, although he still shows up. We got along well and spent most of our time lamenting the fact we didn't sit next to the two hot scandinavian girls during the first tute, thus denying us the opportunity to spend numerous hours oggling two gorgeous, tall, blonde, tanned Norwegians with poor English skills.

As we got closer and closer to the end of the semester, and hence, closer to the due date - we had more and more of these hastily organised, increasingly paniced and poorly orchestrated meetings. As is the nature of the group assignment, emails started been fired around.

Gary authored one email which included the phrase, "Myself and Nicole will work on the assignment on Saturday." Personally, I was shocked that anyone worked on an assignment on a Saturday, but group work? Fuck off. The following Wednesday myself and Matt caught up in our tute.

Matt: "Hey did you see that they worked on it on Saturday?"

The Student: "Yes, YES!!! What the fuck was with that?"

Matt: "I dunno man, they're friends or some shit."

The Student: "You don't reckon he's.... getting into her do you?"

Matt: *laughs* "Nah.... nah."

Eventually we got the assignment done, and following the exam at the end of the semester we all walked out together and lameted our shitful attention to study and impossibly poor mark on the assignment.

To be continued...

Sunday, April 3

University Life Glossary Term #6

Mid Semester Break

A period not longer than a week during which it is anticipated you will do every peice of work since the begining of the semester.

Saturday, April 2

Dis Connect

Around this time each year the University is invaded only briefly by swarms of former students dressed like dicks. Graduates.

I'm never really been able to make the connection between all the trips on the Eastern Freeway, textbook purchases, boring tutes, all night study sessions, and ever actually graduating, until I see former students wondering around in flowing red gowns and those stupid hats.

The Student: "Hmmm... that could be me one day!"

Which begs the question, why the fuck else do I think I'm at Uni?

I started what should have been a three year Arts degree in 2001, a year that degrenerated into a screaming hindenburg-esque failure. I should have finished in 2003. I'd have been 21, broke, the proud owner of a shiny new arts degree and ready to go work fulltime. Yeah, fuck that.

Now, in 2005, for the first time, I can see the end of the tunnel. Rather than continually treading water, I'm aware of where I'm going and when I'll get there.

It's cliche University student behaviour to say this, but the 9-5, five days a week, 48 weeks a year work routine sounds and looks like no fun at all. So it's pretty clear, despite racking up HECS debt and an ongoing sense of underahceivement, the Uni lifestyle of months of holidays and Monday morning sleepins, suits me.

A friend of mine is currently undertaking a year long fulltime work placement as part of an engineering degree. Over a few beers on Friday night...

Jayco: "When I was at Uni, all I ever said was 'I wish I was just working and this was all over.' Now I'm working, all I ever say is, 'Fuck I hate work, I wish I was back at Uni.' I just don't have time to do anything, even small things, anymore."

I guess I should be thankful.