The 300th Post

As I was doing my rounds in Hall on Sunday night, I was talking to a student who I often meet when patrolling.

Student: “So what’s your PhD in?”
Connor:”Masculinity”
Student: can’t speak. Lies down on a bench because he’s laughing so hard.

It can sometimes be difficult to take me seriously. Especially when you consider my lack of adult skills.
My sister is coming home from Spain on Thursday. She’s going to collect her car back from me. Today, I have to tell her that the car has failed its NCT twice and I still haven’t managed to get the suspension fixed. I haven’t had the money, or the required talking-to-mechanics skills to do this. The problem is that I’ve booked the car in for its re-test at the only time available in the rest of 2012: next Monday in Naas. My sister will be in Cork by then, with my parents, who I told I had passed the test. Will she collude with me, and secretly get the car repaired and then secretly drive all the way to Naas on Monday to avoid shaming me in front of my parents?

Grow up, Connor.

I’ve also failed spectacularly at normal adult stuff this week. Last Friday, I resigned from a seminar-writing job. I literally couldn’t organise myself enough to do it.

And I should be writing this from Wales, where I should be at a conference. But I slept in for the flight. And missed the conference. And wasted about €400 in the process. I still haven’t figured out how I’ll tell my supervisor. And worse, HOW will I tell my mother?

I’m thirty-one and three quarters. Really.

Also, although I’m no longer freaking out about it, I’m making no PhD progress at all. And I’ve been gaining weight for the last two months. I suspect I’m a lot heavier than I was, but normal weighing scales don’t register weights as high as mine. It’s been over a month since I hoovered because I find bending over so difficult at this weight. And I’ve broken another belt and lost the button off another pair of jeans.

I’m not fit for human consumption.

And yet I have one skill. And forgive my corniness. My skill is love. No, seriously. Stop puking.

I never expected to get anything from the 80 or so students who I’m responsible for in Hall. I’m not a big part of their lives. And yet I keep getting their love.

One day, I arrived home to find a colourful handmade invitation from one flat of girls inviting me for dinner. In Captain America’s. Now, I couldn’t go, but that didn’t stop me from putting my hand to my heart and emoting all over the place about how lovely they were.

Another day, I was passing the House I’m in charge of, when a boy stuck his head out of the window and called to me. He told me that he had a disciplinary meeting with the Warden, and he asked me, in a pleading-little-boy voice if I could come with him to the meeting. I somehow stopped myself from breaking the window and devouring him in a hug and telling him it would all be alright. But it was an effort.

And on Sunday night, a page was slipped under the door of my flat. It was a page torn out of a copybook. The One Direction logo was painstakingly drawn on it. This was decorated with little sprigs of holly and a Christmas tree was drawn on too. It said “Nollaig Shona Connor!!!” (Happy Christmas) and was signed by six boys. Six eighteen-year-old boys. They had initially written “from” before their names, but had scratched that out and put “ó” instead. I am after all the Irish warden. I later found out that the card had been drawn by a banjo-playing computer science student from Mayo. You’d think that by now, I’d not break down when boys do something nice for me. But I couldn’t cope. I started crying, ugly crying. Not completely different from this

I am a lucky Connor.

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