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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

In every Open University class I have ever attended, there has always been this one particular type of person. No mater what size of class, time of day, day of the week, location of the class, whether England, Ireland or Scotland, course level or point in the course, there is always one person who can’t sit in the classroom in silence. While the rest of us are quite content to sit and stare at our notes, play with our mobiles, doodle on our noteboosk or just gently dribble, one person always feels the urge to fill the room with meaningless burble while we wait for the (inevitably late) arrival of our tutor.

In the same way that gossipers in doctors waiting rooms list off every ailment that they are their immediate relatives and neighbours have suffered from in the past six years, the OU bore has to tell everyone in great detail each and every course undertaken, what grades they got, their individual study worries, the essay nightmares, previous tutors, previous classes, and so on until I want to hit them across the throat with their text books so hard their power of speech is destroyed forever.

I hate these people. These people make me lose my reason. These people make me literally begin to chew off my own hands. Last night I lost two perfectly good fingernails thanks to one lady who, with impending middle age, grew roots sticking out from badly dyed blonde hair and crows feet so deep they looked engraved, would not stop talking, not even for a moment. During the quiet times in the two hour class when we were, for example, reading some papers in preparation for discussion, or considering the implications of this theory or that experiment, she wouldn’t stop talking. She muttered under her breath, she jiggled her legs, she rooted through her bag, she giggled to herself, she constantly interrupted the tutor to ask stupid questions, to request rephrasings or, at one point, to tell us the story of WHEN SHE MET THE QUEEN which had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING WE WERE TALKING ABOUT AT ALL.

Lady. You owe me two fingernails.


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