Pianos and politics
Lily is 19 and from Kingston-upon-Thames. She's studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at York University. Will she survive studentdom on the road to graduation?
Lilys exams draw to an end as she completes her first year at university with a surprise award to end things on a high. On a more musical note, the C and D blocks clash in one final act of revenge.
Exams come to an end
Everyone else has either already finished their exams, or will finish in the next couple of days. The last Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) exam is on the last day of term, by which time almost everyone else in my block will have had a week of nothing and will probably already be complaining of boredom. Meanwhile, we've been walking around with wellies on after flooding hit our historical city of York.
While the clamour of happy-go-lucky students trickles down the corridor, Tom, my PPE buddy and I, scuttle back and forth between each others' rooms like hunchbacks, huddling over the Lagrangian method for optimisation and musing on Locke's theory on personal identity. Revision is most tragic when Tom and I turn on each other. After my fifth attempt of writing inappropriate things using his Facebook account, Tom forcibly removed me from his room, dropped me in the bath, and turned on the cold tap. Slightly sodden on my part, a vicious Facebook wall battle ensued.
The year is nearly gone and all our wisdom gained from a year of education and personal development is being channelled into increasingly childish endeavours. I have three exams and an essay due next week and I reckon I've given up at least 10 hours of my life to Tekken in the past three days. It doesn't help when one's childishness is rewarded by the college. My fellow leopard companion, Lesley and I, finally got our deserved recognition for our Club D costumes. Coming top for †authenticity and general ugliness of costume, we got the first best-dressed at Club D award. Fame is truly ours as our pictures circulate Derwent in the Flying DCUK, our college newspaper.
"Their hallowed block is apparently no place for excrement and legend has it that they've been relieving themselves in D block toilets since the beginning of term."
United as we Derwenters are by our illustrious JCRC (Junior Common Room Committee) newspaper and club nights, bitter rivalry has arisen between C and D blocks. D block, the best block in the college, havs suffered the torment of C block since term one. We could have lived in peace and harmony being adjoining blocks, but, I kid you not, they come and poo in our toilets. Their hallowed block is apparently no place for excrement and legend has it that they've been relieving themselves in D block toilets since the beginning of term.
The C/D block rivalry has now culminated in a clash over a piano. The piano was acquired ("stolen" according to college administration) from the bins, abandoned because it was more expensive to mend than to buy a new one. C block moved it to a place where they could use it. Foolishly they put it not in C block, but in the edge of D block. Waking up one morning to find a piano in their block, some musically enthusiastic D blockers moved the piano right into D block, claiming it as their own. A barrage of emails from the college secretary to all of C and D block and several attempts by C block to reclaim the piano followed. Everyone expected the piano fiasco to end quickly, with porters removing it and a few more disciplinary emails. But the piano remained longer than expected, every day on my way to lectures I would run my fingers down it, until one morning I ran my fingers along the keys and no notes were to be heard; just the empty thud of wood on wood. I forced open to top of the piano to find every single key had been snapped in half and the lid had been glued down.
Apparently C block were stopped from trying to steal the piano back, and came over late at night to break what they couldn't play with. It was one of the more disturbing sights of the year - my friend equated it to burning books. Something about smashing a musical instrument is inherently wrong. The rest of C block weren't happy with their housemates' actions diminishing the feud in mutual mourning for our piano.
Time to move on
There's only a week left of halls and such madness. We're moving our stuff into our house for next year in a little over a week. Soon we'll have bills to pay, no cleaners and a long walk to campus. Excited? I think so. First year had to end some time. Second year, so I'm told, is when the real work begins and something tells me D block isn't entirely conducive to real work. In the meantime it's back to Waitrose for summer work and a housemates-bonding holiday to visit Tom in Corfu.