Day in the life of a full-time mature student with a part-time job:
7:00 Get up. No, really, get up. Get up. Get up. Get the hell up already.
7:20 GET. THE. HELL. UP.
7:30 Drink tea in front of computer, with vague intention of reading emails. Find self staring transfixed at the weather report. Give up, brush teeth, wash, get dressed, find this involves wandering in and out of the bedroom with one sock on and no trousers for no specific reason. Find other sock. Put it down to hunt for comb. Find comb on kitchen table. Put comb down somewhere mysterious to look for other sock. Rinse. Repeat.
8:00 Leave house.
8:03 Re-enter house, hunt frantically for wallet, leave house.
8:15 Arrive at train station. Trains delayed. Platform crowded. Unable to squeeze onto first train. Cuss. Squeeze onto second train. Man is standing on foot. Second man has back-pack on and grinds it repeatedly into my face. Tinny version of Lily Allen drivelling in left ear from perky woman with flash iPod and shitty ear-phones.
8:35 Find self staggering off train to coffee stall. Take coffee and trundle down into deep dark Grendel-infested caverns of the Underground. Underground unspeakable. Coffee cup sole defence between me and crushed claustrophobic panic.
9:00 Arrive at lecture sans coffee, having nearly been hit by psychotic cyclist at road crossing, coffee ultimate casualty, can only hope some of it splashed cyclist, most of it down own leg. Attempt to concentrate. Attempt to attempt to concentrate. Feel ravenous. Remember ghastly organic cereal bar that tastes of polystyrene is in bag. Ponder possibility of eating it very quietly and subtly while sitting in front row of lecture hall with both elbows being gently compressed into ribs by fellow students, both of whom, infuriatingly, have coffee.
10:30 Decide to go and have coffee with peers before heading off to Library for an hour before next lecture.
12:00 Dammit. Sat chatting like jolly chatty person with all time in world for hour and a half. Peers too amusing, clearly. Must find boring friends. Go to next lecture. Am able to actually engage brain. Feel chipper.
1:00 Lunch. Beastly cheap sandwich in horrifyingly crowded and noisy canteen. Some tit leaves via fire-exit, setting alarm off, and adding to Pandemoniacal atmosphere. Can’t run away, as am having lunch with nice person I want to impress with my general affability and sweet nature and total lack of neurotic tics.
2:00 Work, at Library in Other Seat of Learning. Of office full complement of 17, two are off sick, one is off his chump, one is on study leave, two are working from home, and one is Unavailable. Heave a dozen boxes of freshly delivered re-bound journals and books upstairs single-handed. Unpack boxes. Find interesting selection of errors therein. Repack errors. Go to meeting. Return from meeting to find Off His Chump Guy has not shelved any journals today. Go shelve journals. On return downstairs, find mouse in staff kitchen. Work way through heap of tatty battered books that ought to be sent to be bound. Cover self with glue. Find I have missed tea-break, and I must now go on duty at the Issue Desk and be Helpful. With no tea. Get shouted at twice, harangued at length about ‘The Government’ once, thanked three times (personal shift record), and asked about photocopiers seventy-six times.
5:45 Realise I should have gone home 15 minutes ago.
5:47 Run madly from building before anyone can think of a good reason to stop me. Decide Underground and Bus are both to hideous to contemplate. Walk across town to Main Station. Walk takes 35 minutes even when I am sure I am walking very fast indeed. Cram self onto ghastly packed train, get booted in face by rucksack complete with walking boots that someone can’t be bothered to take off while on crowded train, repress urge to defenestrate him, repress urge to also defenestrate girl who smells like an exploded air-freshener.
7:00 Re-enter house, shortly after husband. Realise, dully, painfully, that no one has magically washed up in our absence.
8:00 Watch TV while eating, well aware that This Kind of Thing is supposed to be the Death of a Marriage. Spend evening alternately watching more TV, faffing about online, pretending to read Important Core Text-Book, and failing to wash up.
11:49 Realise one could have always done teeth and gone to bed with Important Core Text-Book hours ago. Duly brush teeth, clean face, search for comb, plait hair, leaving comb somewhere completely daft, like in bread-bin or under book-shelf.
12:15 Finally stop idly discussing plans for spending Christmas at the bottom of a well, as being preferable to Family, and go to sleep. Or, stare into darkness, resentfully, while spouse sleeps like happy little log.
Repeat ad nauseam.