A kennel for Connor

So Dublin is as Dublin was and Connor’s life has already taken on a greyish tinge to suit. I won’t say that life in France or England was better, but it was different and difference implies drama. Dublin life is definitely safer than life in Cambridge or Strasbourg. Last night, for the third time, I had the same nightmare about Cambridge. Dublin would struggle to summon a nightmare from me.

I’m temporarily living with the same friend who took me in before the summer, but all that is about to change. I’m moving into student accommodation in a week’s time.

It all seemed like a great idea when I applied for student housing last February. I remember thinking that I would be independent. That I would be able to participate fully in student life. That I could somehow turn back time and do university “right”. I remember arguing with the lady in the Residence Office that I needn’t apply for one of the (more expensive) reserved postgraduate apartments. I’d be just fine in the (far cheaper) halls.

It’s an argument I may live to regret winning.

Because it is the cheapest type of accommodation, it is mainly taken up by first years. There is a hall. Off the hall there are fourteen bedrooms. At one end of the hall is a bathroom. At the other end is a kitchen. And that’s it. Me and thirteen eighteen-year-old boys. From places like Leitrim.

When I tell people this, I get one response, and I’ve heard it from seven or eight different people now: “Great material for your blog, Connor.”

But I don’t live life for this blog. I foolishly think that the blog is still a self-improvement project, and not a serial Laurel-and-Hardy-isation of my life in public.

I got a welcome email from the Warden’s Office. Yes, I’m going to live somewhere that has a warden. Just like Alcatraz.

The email offered the chance for my parents to come and meet the warden. Alarm bells went off in my brain. A second alarm rang when I was informed that my attendance at “orientation” activities was required. Another rang when I learned that I was to time my arrival according to the registration of my car. I’ll be arriving in a Cork-registered car, so I’ll unpack from 3:00 to 4:30pm next Friday, along with all the fresh arrivals from Kerry, Sligo and Donegal. It’s basically the “very far away” slot. I’m to bring bedlinen and cooking ware of my own (for which there is a padlockable cupboard in the kitchen).

There is one thing I’m looking forward to though. During the first week of term, my attendance is required at a “Compulsory Fire Talk”. I look forward to learning about “compulsory fire”. It can’t possibly be as disappointing as “Research Coffee Mornings”, which turned out to have nothing whatsoever to do with “research coffee”.

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