The Common Enemy: 9 a.m lectures
Halloween is coming and so I’m pulling the monster from under the bed.
by Mónica Ferreira
Think it’s time it gets some proper fresh air. A bit fresher than one would like, but then again, we’re in Aberdeen. The sun barely dares to show its face around here, and the wind and rain keep outstaying their welcome. But I digress.
9 a.m lectures. Here’s our monster. To slay it means to attend them, to put on our shiny armour and dare to show our faces in a lecture hall at such daunting time of the day. Oh, what heroes. Praise those strong and brave enough to get up at whatever unholy time allows them to collapse down on a foldable chair at 9 a.m to listen to a most grateful lecturer. Because they sure are grateful; so surprised that some of us actually like to enjoy what we’re paying for. Maybe the word enjoy is pushing it, sure. You’re either head over heels for your degree or you’re there because attendance is recorded, and even though it is not mandatory, you’re essentially a chicken.
Your bed, which is to say, your lover, is left behind. If you don’t take the bus - a throw of dice, as the chances that it is late are the same as otherwise - then you’re a whole different type of privileged child, and you drive your own car. But I’m reaching for the peasants here, those who walk or cycle, those whose hair-brushing attempts are as lasting as someone’s loyalty to their new diet. To those, I bow my head. I applaud.
And yet, what I cannot help but wonder, as an international student myself, is exactly when, did we foreigners become such whiny babies? When did we absorb this national softness? Cultural appropriation ought to have its limits. When did we develop this so convenient amnesia that forgets the beasts of the past in favour of these tiny monsters of the present? 9 a.m. lectures are a fly on a lion’s paw. The lion, let me remind you, is those 8 a.m. or even 7 a.m. classes back in high school, in middle school. Early morning classes of not just listening, but of participating. Oh, those I will not dare pull from under the bed.
The real monster, I dare say, is the realization that we’ve grown soft and weak. That we’re actually not worthy of the title of heroes. So, for this Halloween, dress up as a complainer. Wear that ever-present human trait and go on about how much your 9 a.m. lectures hurt you. If you phone your friends back home, you might even get a few spooked screams.