Connor, creativity and boundaries

Connor creates gunge

So, Crazy Bingo happened. My plan was to have the numbers buried in a gooey, gungy mass that students would plunge their hands into. The three main ingredients were to be jelly, custard and washing-up liquid. And on Wednesday afternoon, they were indeed the three main ingredients in my kitchen. I nearly got repetitive strain injury making eighteen packs of instant custard one after another and pouring it all into a big rubbish bin. But the gunge wasn’t quite as gooey as I planned. The jelly didn’t set. And I’d listened to the president of the JCR (the student committee in Hall) when he recommended that I make the gunge as disgusting as possible. I cooked up all the porridge I had left over from  last June, when I promised myself I’d have a healthy breakfast every morning. I added the porridge to the custard, the unset jelly and the six bottles of discount washing-up liquid. I then threw in five tins of beans. And a bottle of sunflower oil. And a tin of chopped tomatoes. And two tins of fish. Bleurgh! The mixture was brown and smelt of fish and sugar. I couldn’t have made anything more like vomit if I’d tried.

I topped the mixture off with spray cream. Just to complete the gross factor.

Connor, forfeits and boundaries

I’m still not sure why I did bingo. While all the Assistant Wardens were encouraged to organise social activities at the start of the year, all the other ideas seemed to slowly seep away and Connor’s Crazy Bingo was the only one to survive.

The bin held the twenty-five or so litres of vomit-like gunge. Hidden in the bin were laminated cards with the numbers one to ninety, and other laminated cards, with the word “prize”, and still more with the word “forfeit”. If a student drew out the word “prize”, they won a spot prize, which the JCR had kindly provided. If they drew out “forfeit”, then I would force them to do something embarrassing.

I made the first person to draw out a forfeit had to put his foot in the gunge for 20 seconds. I made another sing a song, and another choose someone and dance with him. This dance turned out to be a lap dance.

Two of the forfeits were particularly memorable. In one, I asked the boy who picked out the forfeit to kiss a member of the JCR, who were milling about behind me, for 15 seconds.

The JCR weren’t expecting this. There were murmurs and consternation. I saw one of the JCR members hiding behind another. Eventually one girl volunteered to be kissed. She was just a friend of one of the JCR and I’d never seen her before, but she was willing. The boy who’d drawn the forfeit leaned in and gave her a peck, and turned to me, thinking he was finished. Then I started counting down from fifteen to one; slowly, because I’m a bit of a prick. The following fifteen seconds was one of the most uncomfortable periods of time I’ve ever witnessed, as a boy (who I later discovered is gay) tried to stretch out a peck on the cheek with a strange girl into a full-on snog.

At a later stage in the night, I’d run out of ideas for forfeits, and when another boy drew one, I leaned over to the closest member of the JCR and she told me to get him to strip to his boxers for the rest of the game. My inner adult kicked in and instead I asked him to take off his shirt for the next three rounds. He had no problem with this, but at this moment, I caught the eye of one of my Boys, who’s also on the JCR. He mouthed the word “boundaries” to me. He’s quite aware of my ability to overstep the line.

Luckily, I got through bingo without totally overstepping any boundaries, but I’m not sure whether asking students to snog or asking them to strip fits into my job description as an Assistant Warden. My twin roles are “discipline” and “pastoral care”. You can make up your own minds as to which  of these crazy bingo sits under.

Connor creates food

You will remember that I went a year without a kitchen. From September of 2011, when I moved in with the Boys, until September of this year, when I moved into my lovely Assistant Warden’s flat, I didn’t use a kitchen. My own ridiculous eating issues meant that I couldn’t cope with other people seeing me eat. I didn’t even use a fridge or a microwave for all the time I lived there.

Now I have a kitchen of my own, and I’m re-learning to be normal. And I’m cooking again.

Last week, I made a meatloaf for some friends. But I’d done that before. Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I made a pie. An actual pie. A chicken pie. A chicken and mushroom pie.

This involved making a “roux”. That’s right, Connor went and made a roux, bitches.

There were panicky moments. With so many visitors coming, I didn’t leave myself enough time to do the laundry. Instead, I just got out the Febreze and made sure the the pong from the week’s worth of socks in my bedroom didn’t permeate the entire flat.

And when I couldn’t get the shortcrust pastry to defrost quickly enough, I nearly had a blue-soup-and-marmalade-lesbian-catering-stress breakdown.

The pie accompanied by potatoes dauphinoise (I know, who is this man?) went down a storm.

I could be the next Monica (Michel Roux Jr’s sous chef and his assistant judge on Masterchef: The Professionals and also one of my favourite people on TV).

Connor, wardening and boundaries

I was doing rounds during the week when we called into a girls’ flat to ask them to keep the noise down. While my colleague did the talking, I noticed a whole wall in the living room of the flat was devoted to One Direction. They had two pictures of each of the band members, one colour picture, and one topless black-and-white photo. They had handwritten the name of the band and the name of each of the members as well in pretty calligraphy. I was perfectly restrained and professional. I neither stroked nor licked the wall.

Unfortunately, they had spelled Zayn’s name wrong. Now, Zayn is currently my favourite member of One D, and I couldn’t let this pass, so I pointed it out to the girls. Apparently this undermined our authority. Oops.

Later the same evening, I referred to myself as a “snake charmer”, when talking about my relationship the residents of Hall. Apparently, this is also crossing the line. Oopsy.

Connor creates a headdress

Last year, on the first of December, I dressed in tinsel, and spent the rest of the month with tinsel hanging out of my hair, my bag and my car. This year, I’ve upped my game. I have constructed a festive headdress.

I took a Dunnes Stores beanie hat, which only cost €2 and, using safety pins and golden string, I have constructed a stunning hat of tinsel, glittery red LCD lights and red and gold baubles.

It is literally the peak of human achievement.

I wore it for the first time today, while doing laundry and taking out the recycling. And I spread Christmas across Hall.

Christmas Connor will come soon to a Christmas party near you.

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