Aaardvark would like to be among the many people and ducks to welcome you all. We have all at one time or another been bewildered upon our arrival at Heathrow airport - my first question was "what am I doing here? I was in Nottingham a few minutes ago..." Luckily my question was answered when I woke up: "You have been sleep walking" said the cute prune-like man who bad been poking and prodding me for the last half hour. He handed me some trousers I could borrow (I was hungry) and I went on my way. It was at this time, and I lie profoundly, that it was suggested that this article be written for the new arrivals of the University of Pork.
Anyway, well done, you made it to the university! I must admit that it took me a long time to figure out all this A and M road business - confusing?!? Huh - I almost finished my Funday TimesTM, crossword.
We should warn you that
Judy Finn... but we are not
going to. So there.
Anyhow, back to the university... The abundance of absurd questions you will be asked continuously over the next month or so will be both large in quantity and absolutely absurd - eg, Discuss the standardization of linguistic speech patterns within institutional establishment as an example of partially hidden monolithic structure (you have two hours to prepare a seminar paper with no more than 4000 individually wrapped words sealed for freshness).
Harvey Procter! Sorry I just felt like saying that.
Amongst the many introductory questions that people ask each other, the following are very popular... (8 out of a box of 10 preferred them)
As new arrivals to this fabulous University you may have a number of questions to ask yourselves - such as "why do I talk to myself" and "I wonder who that dishy person is - they all look rather plate-like to me!"
Ahem. Sorry, I digress again - don't worry, I'll clear it up later. I will! Oh, parsnips. Anyhow, we agreed to wear lecturer-style woolly jumpers and we concluded that it might just be a fantastically great idea to answer some of the questions you might ask. So strap yourself to a nearby zebra and hang on tight...
No. Neither is it true that due to a clause in the Rowntrees construction contract, Central Hall is built on chocolate. However, it is true that on the way to the library you can find a fossilized avocado from the Jurassic Pork Era (you can't say we're not up to date here. I personally have several - and some sultanas). Which leads us to the question - when the Bournemouth playgroup planned the structure of the University, what was in their minds? More to the point what were their cakes laced with? I supposed that's what happens when four year olds are asked to be a bit surreal. But remember, that girl wrote the Garden Gang stories when she was only eight.
Only if you coat them in varnish. The truth is that if you are interested in your subject then you are more likely to enjoy it and find it easy-peasy. Suggestion - no matter how boring it gets or irrelevant it seems, go to your lectures dressed in a jump suit and wear a kipper tie with a smiley face. It may turn out to be of invaluable importance in exam time.
Students may he pleased to note that, in the search for the ideal teaching method, contemporary philosophical developments are often adopted and adapted. An example of this practice can be seen in this year's Socio-Economic lectures which will alternate weekly, fluctuating from one end of the room to the other in an almost off-beat and nonsensical manner. This 'Theory of Bouncing Thoughts' is based on the hypothesis that if lectures, tutorials (etc.) are carried out in an alternating manner, then information would not go in one ear and out of the other, but will be trapped in between the ears and forced to lodge itself in the neural system. [Did anyone understand any of that bit? It was beyond me. Mind you, so's primitive eel-tickling, but at least it still hasn't been legalized - Ed.]
Luckily, those students without brains can obtain them from the Student Union Shop (in Vanbrugh College) on either a Further or Hire (or Higher) Purchase Scheme, depending on what type of course you are on (except Albanian Goat-herding, for which separate rules apply. Ask your doctor; mine's William Hartnell).
No. It's crazy - I mean, we're told that the SU card helps us get discounts on goods and services (Ms Whiplash and Rent-a-lad have 10% off sensuous massages, and we are not just talking clothes - yes look out for more innuendos, there will be a competition during the commercial break, and a lucky draw during the industrial break. All power to the Soviets! glurk!). As I was saying, the SU shop charges extortionate prices for many of the goods, yet we cannot use our beloved SU card there (1 carry mine wherever I go, just like my knees)! Huh - oh well... you'll just have to pay full prices for those brains you needed.
Ha! Nothing. The University of Pork can boast that it has a wide range of clubs and societies (known to your local laundrette as socs). This does not mean that it has them, just that it boasts about them. Actually, first years are often bewildered by the vast array of socs. Beware - tempting though it may seem to join them all, spend your money wisely. don't be afraid to ask questions. For example you may want to ask the Alternative Music Society ... "Scuse me mate, like, what exactly is Alternative Music? I mean - does 2 Unlimited count?" (The answer - no, they failed their Maths! - oh, such whimsy! Ying tong iddle I po! [get on with it - Ed.]).
For those of you who are at death's door, there is in fact a medical centre cunningly hidden round the back near the Physics building (the big lump in the middle). It used to be in Vanbrugh College - otherwise known as the 'Motorway College' because although everyone goes through it, nobody actually stops there unless they're dying for the loo. The medical centre is designed for patient patients and the doctors am practising so ask to see one that does it for real. Interestingly enough, Vanbrugh X block used to be called D block - can you imagine going to a medical centre in V/D block??
Seriously though (straightens tie), the University has clubs and associations which include,:
Save the Jelly Baby foundation - which argues that the sale of jelly babies should be limited to responsible adults. The society argues that eating jelly babies has far-reaching consequences, that it installs violence and prejudice in little children, but not big children (?). This association is primarily sponsored by Mary Whitehouse.
The Surrealist Society - The original organisers to the Surrealist Society wanted SPONTANEITY. They hoped that people would get together and do outrageous things like explode milk cartons which, with the help of modem technology is possible, without modem technology it is harder (Just like eel-tickling, actually). Incidentally, why did the surrealists call themselves the Surrealist Society? Why not something less tangible such as the Purple Balloon Fan Bat?
The Athletics Union - Erm... (cough, splutter) - it's great! I think every University should have one! WOW! Couldn't ask for more! It really did reform my life - I believe! Like, join NOW! squiggle hip-hip wa-waaaaaaa! Don't let the ducks die - save them! write to your MP now.
The Rock Society - geologists please take note... this is not what you think it is.
The Goth Society - good society. Invented that famous joke, Eldrich (ask someone else) and - how many Goths does it take to change a lightbulb? Two, one to change it in a mysterious way, and the other to paint it black. The truth is that it doesn't really matter which club/soc you join; Most of them have two ultimate goals.
(But not necessarily in that order)
This has to be one of the biggest enigmas in the world. "What a dimple idea!" said one of the protons from the planet Zarg as it was suggested that an introductory peanut was to be produced. Mind you it was an ever-so-friendly peanut.
As far as University life goes, "Enjoy it, or I'll smash your face in!" And remember - you are ALL 'individuals'. Humour is the very essence of a democratic society - Be seeing you! Love and hugs from...
Originally Written & typed, and unoriginally re-written
and re-typed & re-typed by Toseef Ahmad aka the Blob
Originally edited many moons ago by Jack Alexander. Re-write, edited not so many moons ago by Joules P.
Additional material and editing by Matthew Jarron alias Jazz.
Cast into HTML by Andrei Ellman.
Thanks go to: Jack Alexander, Stephen Brockelhurst, Glyn Harris, Colin Johnson, Fred Manby, Joules P., and (of course) Tosh.
Also thanks go to my parents and British Rail, for without their help I would not be here today!