Saturday, May 28

Dropping off the radar.

Remember my bristling arrogance and blind rejection of a likely truth when I said 'it sure as fuck isn't going to be me' that does all the work?

April 30:

"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."

This week we had to hand in the 4000 word assignment, which regular readers may know, was on the NAB. For the last three weeks, no one had heard from Swaziland. For the two weeks prior to that, no one heard from me, the whole time Left has been there and abouts, and 4th has just floated, putting in the sort of effort consistent with someone who is basically here on exchange and likes to drink.

My attempts to simply ignore the group and then reappear two weeks from the end with exactly 1000 words and an excuse for my absence failed. At the meetings it was clear that Left didn't have the English skills to polish an assignment up, and that 4th was simply unwilling to put in the extra effort in and amongst his liquid pastime.

And Swaziland - Swaziland was nowhere, Swaziland had dropped off the radar, she was uncontactable. I blew my bet on Swaziland being the 70% workhorse in a big way.

On Monday, despite living on campus, despite having to walk a distance I have crawled drunk before, 4th failed to front up to a meeting that me and Left traveled an hour to attend.

Sadly, the poisoned chalice of doing the work fell to me - first priority was securing an extension and that meant selling Swaziland out.

The controlled leak was issued to the head lecturer. We emailed him to let him know that we hadn't heard from Swaziland, and that if she wasn't to show up 'tomorrow', we would need an extension. Swaziland showed up Tuesday, with a fleeting 'mental breakdown' being the reason for her disappearing off the map.

Being the benevolent guy that I am, I gave Swaziland the "look, just give me 1000 words worth of stuff, I'm not worried about anything else, lets just hand it in," ignoring the fact she has been nowhere for weeks. as we concluded the phone call she offered the parting sentiment of, "You know what, I knew you were going to be the guy who does all the work."

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Oh, and thanks for sending me what you described as a 'padded out' 438 words the day before the assignment was due - real nice.

Come Friday, me and Left had endured a brief misunderstanding about what equated to plagiarism, 4th was nowhere to be seen (although with a highly legitimate excuse), Swaziland hadn't replied to a text message and an email which put it in the nicest apathetic words I could muster that, 'Yes, we all hate this assignment, but no, your contribution was shite and you need to try harder,' Swaziland was once again presumed missing, and a 10am phone call to the tutor secured us an extension till Monday.

At the 3pm tutorial during which we (I) had agreed to give our ten minute presentation, Swaziland appears sprinting at the last minute, as if having just dashed to the tute room from a cave in which she just ten minutes before came back from the dead following her crucifixion at Golgotha the prior Friday.

We sat and watched two presentations prior to mine (ours) in which a girl who earlier in the year had cheerfully reminded everyone that this was her last semester of uni, delivered a presentation of breathlessly wanktastic presentation that can only be mustered by a student in the last throws of their degree - she had even created an Apprentice style name for her group. Lame.

I give my presentation, the tute is finished, and Left, Swaziland, and myself meet in the stairwell to debrief.

The Student: "We got an extension till Monday."

Swaziland: "Oh, well I did extra work, I made it up to a thousand, here's it is."

The Student: "No, email it to me."

Left: "Yeah - I'm sending through some stuff too."

The Student: "I'll fix it up on Sunday and hand it in Monday, just email it to me."

Swaziland: "Really, if you guys want you can tell the tutor to dock marks off me, I've been pretty useless guys, sorry."

The Student: "No, nah there is no reason to do that, I'm not worried about that - we all hate group work. Let's just hand it in and forget about it."

Swaziland: "Oh, come here."

Left: *blank expression*

The Student: "Wha..?"

Swaziland: *hugs the Student*

The Student: "..."

Tuesday, May 24


Despite my eventual goal of a major in marketing, I doubt I will ever work in the field for any long length of time.

Last Wednesday a former work colleague of mine quite unexpectedly passed away. He was deeply respected by all, not least for the fact that 3 years ago he resigned his impressive job at a bank to care for his wife of 32 years following her stroke, also single handedly raising their two teenage children at the same time.

At the funeral today, while I took stock of the conversations we'd had, and tried place when I had last spoke to him, I remembered one conversation in particular.

Devoutly Christian and, as I came to find out, very straight forward and realistic, Errol and myself talked about my plans for a career following my having given notice at the marketing consultancy we were working at.

Talking about his time at the bank, Errol said: "I never had any time for the people from the marketing department during meetings... they never had anything important to say. All they did was say anything to make themselves seem important and keep themselves in the job."

Errol was right.

University Life Glossary Term #8

Group Assignment

Living hell.

See also: sleeplessness; paranoia; anxiety.

Friday, May 20


Our marketing group has been having trouble working out when it's going to meet - apparently we needed a time during the week because we couldn't possibly wait until the normal time of 2pm Friday.

Here's the proposed meeting times that never came to fruition:

Monday at 1

Wednesday at 1.30

Wednesday at 3

Wednesday at 2

Wednesday at 4

Wednesday at 4.30

And, here's the time we have wound up organising to meet:

Friday at 2

Friday, May 13


Having blogged in the past, I'm acutely aware of the 'Do I? / Don't I?' internal battle many bloggers face when writing a post.

Should I write honestly about an issue when I am sure someone it relates to is reading the blog? How do you write something about someone on your blog that you wouldn't say to their face? What if someone finds the blog who shouldn't? More specifically - where do I draw the line?

In 2001, a girl I had previously been seeing read something on my low class blog at the time, a somewhat thinly veiled reference to her - I got nothing short of a 'spray' the next time I ran into her down at the shops. This was warranted, and while a spray from an undisputed minger doesn't compare to losing your job, or losing friends, it underlines the sort of shit an ONLINE collection of your thoughts can cause.

When I decided I wanted to blog again, it was because I felt I was missing out on writing for recreation. I had just begun a job that involved me writing for a living, and I was starting to get into the swing of writing again - where it was easy to write again.

The one precondition I set for myself was that I could only blog about Uni - I felt this would lessen the chance of me slipping into blogging about personal stuff - and thereby avoid the likelihood of me getting jack of the blog due to 'this is infringing my personal life' reasons.

The one clear disadvantage of this is that I don't write about solid-blogging-gold stories from my life - like the current one about some particularly 'what the fuck?' text messages I've received - which is a shame for all you lovers of bad-poetry-of-a-15-year-old out there in the blogosphere.

At the start I wondered how exactly a blog about Uni would work out - how far you could stretch a topic like this out, how many times you could remark on the sheer craptacularity of tutes, lectures, groups - without well and truly boring people stupid. I'm happy with how it's all working out so far. B+

Monday, May 9

Internal Monologue

With the exam period not far off, the internal calculations of my likelihood of passing each subject begin.

Marketing - Consumer Behaviour:

"With the exam now worth 85% I don't have to stress right now - but I need to hand that assignment in straight away - hopefully get 7 or 8 out of 15 - I need to study a lot then clean up in the exam."

Marketing Communications:

"When do I need to hand in that assignment? I hope the group has done some work since I haven't seen them in two weeks. God I hate group work. I wonder what I got in the mid semester test? What's the exam worth again?"


"I'm so fucked."

Saturday, May 7


The older I get, the more comfortable I am with how long this it taking me.

At this rate, I could be here for ever.

Tuesday, May 3

Gary Redux

In the fifteen minutes prior to a multiple-choice-three-months-warning-zero-preperation-mid-semester-marketing-communications-test I ate a large vegetarian curry, laced with a half shot of raita.

In the midst of Melbourne's hottest April on record, I picked away at an awkwardly large peice of brocoli and observed the university's mock town square half abuzz with lazy uni students and coffee sipping black and grey clad lecturers.

Having calculated the time it would take to walk to the lecture hall for the test, I looked at my watch, picked up my Dawson Leary postal bag full of expensive pretty and virginal text books and headed toward the exam.

Gary: 'Hey, hows it going?'

The Student: 'Oh hey man, hows it going?'

Gary (sans Nicole) was sitting behind me with a good looking and chatty brunette. It immediatly occured to me that Gary had taken the time to initiate a conversation with me while mid-prowl with this new lady friend. I had spotted Gary a few rows down from and to the right during the first long lecture for this particular subject, so we headed to the exam together.

On the way there the chatty brunette finished off the last of Gary's vegetable samosa.

Chatty: 'So this is quite spicy, what's in it? Peas and Potato?'

Gary: 'It's not that spicy.'

Chatty: *scoffs* 'Yes it is. What's the spice in it?"

Gary: 'Cumin.'

Chatty: 'Cumin?'

The Student: 'Yeah. . . Cumin.'

Gary and Chatty: *blank expressions*

Gary: 'Yeah I don't find it spicy, but you might."

Sensing that the joke might need a second airing to get it's desired result, I stuck with the same serving suggestion and offered it up again.

The Student:'Cumin.'

Gary and Chatty: *blanker expressions*

Gary: 'So how do you think you'll go on the exam?'

Chatty: 'Pretty good.'

After entering the examination venue, Gary and Chatty finished their pre-exam analysis and split up to prepare for showtime. Gary and myself found ourselves sitting on either side of Matt. Gary relaxed and unpacked his array of carefully sharpened HB pencils, Matt chatted to a gorgeous Sri Lankan girl a row in front of us, and I unconciously bit my nails.

It was 12.07pm before the class settled and the exam began. At 12.34pm I realised this exam was at best a 4/10 result, and at worst a 1/10; and resvoled to momentarily commit myself to study harder, longer and with more conviction to avoid the internal shame of failing a pissy mid semester test again.

At 12.57pm Gary handed back his exam and met Chatty outside. In Taiwan Nicole went on with some other 10.57am life.

Monday, May 2

University Life Glossary Term #7

Attendance Non-Requirement

Any subject which doesn't offer marks based on tutorial attendance.