How to Fail a Degree

Right now, I feel like just writing, “AAAAAAAAGH!” five hundred times to fill up my word limit and going back to bed. And it would still give a pretty accurate impression of what my week’s been like.

Firstly, my sleep pattern is all to buggery. I’ve tried kicking myself into sensible sleep patterns, but I don’t seem to be getting enough. I’m coming to the conclusion that what I’ve actually got here is a nice little case of stress fatigue demanding that I sleep for sixteen hours a day in the hope that I can forget the world. Not useful.

To make matters worse, I have three essays of four thousand words apiece due in across the first week of term. One of those essays is for a class containing about twenty students, maybe more, so finding books is going to be a right bloody laugh, I’m sure. As I mentioned earlier, Christmas preparations blew all my good intentions in terms of getting early reading done right out of the window. So here I am wondering how on Earth I’m going to get everything done in time. And then the trouble starts. I had a COSHH refresher on this morning at work (at least three hours out of my day), a final training session tomorrow (ditto), and another cock-up by the council tax department to sort out. And just to make life easy, my letting agent phoned me on Thursday morning because my rent was overdue – and I could have sworn I’d paid it!

So Friday rolls around and, just as I’m making a phone call to work to confirm my new timetable for college, I discover an email trying to confirm a seminar that has suddenly been moved from a completely free day in the week to a time slot that clashes directly with another class. As I’m doing this, I discover a small note in a news feed from the university’s IT department saying that some maintenance is being done in Elm Road that means there will be some disruptions to services, including the email access point. So I can’t get any confirmation of what’s going on with my timetable until sometime today, if I’m lucky. How does this happen? I only have three lectures a week!

Anyway, the service disruption is for the whole weekend, beginning at five o’clock on Friday. The joke here is that the main university library closes at seven that day. So I get there at six to discover that these disruptions mean the self-service issuing machines are out of service, along with the servers that allow the printers to work, and the library catalogue. Three million volumes and no catalogue. No cached backup or anything clever like that, just a library made almost redundant for Friday evening and Saturday morning. To make matters worse, the thing that authenticates university access to internet journals is also offline, so I haven’t been able to do any work this weekend. I could cry…


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