A large number of members of staff at Durham University are taking part in industrial action from 25 November until 4 December, unless pay disputes are resolved. As a result, many students have found their lectures and seminars cancelled and everyone except History students – or so they tell us – has nothing to do.
Once a student has ruled out the ludicrous idea of completing formative essays, sorting notes, catching up on “delayed” compulsory course reading, tidying the flat (or even their room), doing laundry, cooking proper food or, indeed, doing anything that might be considered useful, what are they to do with all this time?
Boredom is renowned as the world’s third best source of creativity behind only war and summative deadlines, so we asked the bright young students of Durham University how they filled their week.
A student from Surrey said, “My friend stole memes and put them on Durfess. I posted the originals and called him out on it.”
“We took time out of seeing who could make the highest and most precarious stack on the drying rack to try out some new games.”
Wagers are optional with games, but third year students with experience in this area suggested to not make them so difficult that the loser will never fulfil them. This rules out tidying, cleaning or money changing hands.
“My favourite was horse with rolled up dirty socks and a distant bin – trying to make the socks stay in an overflowing bin is a far greater challenge and therefore worth more points.”
“One day this week we decided it might be a good idea to hunt for the outside bin we were meant to empty our stuff into,” added his housemate.
A biologist, who wished to remain nameless, told us, “I wrote observation reports on mould species in my flatmate’s slow cooker. Mould makes me sick. Then I signed for a new house.”
“I memorised the calorie count of every menu item in Spoons. I ate almost every item, but they were out of all 887 calories of garlic pizza bread with mozzarella (large).”
“I learnt to knit, and now I can’t stop. I’ve knitted three blankets and a scarf. My laptop looked cold, so I knitted a case for it. I’m in the process of knitting a keyboard, but I can’t get y.”
“I woke up in a sweat at 11 am one day after dreaming I was a Humanities student.”
“I learnt how to use Photoshop so I could make everyone bald in pictures.” This went way over her friend’s head.
Somebody once told me, “I learnt every line of Shrek 2”. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
One particularly cash-strapped student declared, “I camped out in the Reduced to Clear section of Tesco for three days, but all they had was spinach again.”
As we packed up after a long day of interviews on campus, one student told us their greatest achievement today: “I watched the TLC window open.”