I had a “what’s wrong with young people nowadays?” moment yesterday. I’ll get to that eventually, first an update:
Because I obviously have too much spare time on my hands (ha!) I’ve signed up for a couple of subject – one at the department where I work and one in English studies. The former promises to be both interesting and useful if I can manage to get enough work done on it to actually pass the exam. The latter was the only class this semester at my old department that looked vaguely interesting, and I thought it would be nice to get back to English literature and to possibly get in touch with the department again in case I ever manage to do something about this doctoral thesis I’ve been contemplating for the last 8 years. (Phew, long sentence.)
This latter class is entitled “Working class fiction” and is supposed to deal both with social history and literature. Sounds promising, no? Actually, it was one of only two classes where I hadn’t read most of the set texts already, and the other was on Native American fiction, and while that might be very well it’s A: way off my chosen field hypothetical-thesis-wise and B: twice the workload (and I really didn’t need that). A brush-up on D.H. Lawrence and an introduction to Walter Greenwood, Alan Sillitoe, Arnold Wesker, Willy Russell and Mary Beckett can’t be all bad, though.
There are two problems. One is time. Getting the reading done ought to be doable, after all, I do read quite a lot, I just need to make sure I read the right things rather than whatever takes my fancy. The main problem, time-wise, is lectures. They are all during working hours, which means I have to make up the time (which is doable), but if we are busy or something needs doing yesterday I can’t just disappear for a couple of hours. So I will probably only be able to attend a fraction of the lectures.
The other problem is my fellow students. This course is bachelor level, which means my fellow students are mostly in their early twenties. It also means a lot of them have no idea why they’re taking this course, they are there because they couldn’t think of anything better to do. There will, I assume (or hope), be exceptions.
Hence we come to our “young people nowadays” moment. The first lecture was yesterday. We were supposed to have an introduction to the social history and then to look at two short-stories by D.H. Lawrence – The Odour of Chrysantemums and Fanny and Annie. These two stories we’d been told (via the university’s “community” boards) would be available in a compendium. However, the compendium was only available as of yesterday. First I figured I’d let the students who were actually students rather than just joyriders like me get the chance to check out any Lawrence than the library might have, and that I’d wait for the compendium to arrive. Wednesday, however, when it (the compendium) still hadn’t (arrived), I popped in at the library to check if they might, on the off chance, still have a Lawrence collection. They did, I checked it out and read the two stories Wednesday evening. I did wonder, because as far as I could see the library was only supposed to have one copy of Lawrence’s collected short-stories, and I thought it was a bit odd that it was still available. Then, yesterday in the one hour of lectures I managed to sneak in between the chaos that is work, the lecturer asked if anyone had managed to find the stories anywhere else, seeing as the compendium had been delayed. Two people put their hand up. Me, that’s one. Another girl, that’s two. And the other girl had only managed to find Fanny and Annie. Which is when I thought: “Young people nowadays!” And then realised they were just the same back when I was a bachelor student, I remember being vaguely shocked at how little initiative the average student managed to show back then as well.
Don’t people realise that it’s a good idea to have read the text before hearing a lecture on it?
Don’t people realise there are such a things as libraries?
Still, what little I managed to catch of the lecture was interesting enough. Unfortunately, I only managed one hour. And since the lecturer is from Bergen, this course is “condenced” with lectures only in weeks 4, 9 and 13 – and long lectures in those weeks. And I didn’t manage to get away today. Which means I missed a grand total of 9 hours this week. Pity. Still, there’s a chance things at work will be slightly less hectic in week 9, so there is hope.