Doomsday came and went with a surprising amount of calm.
However when I say that perhaps I only speak for myself.
The tension in the studio over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning was phenomenal. Even though we had only recently cleaned the studio until it gleamed like a new pin it was once again an absolute tip. There was not a single empty patch of floor or table. I’ve completely forgotten what colour either are.
Ed was muttering and swearing under his breath constantly like some old codger. Georgina looked constantly distressed. Martyn, Simeon and Anna was framing like mad. Martyn and Simeon would suddenly stop right in the middle of frantic work, make some tea and lounge around for 10 minutes in the comfy chairs and then resume insanity.
Lisa kept wandering around looking helpless. She asked me if I finished early could I finish her frames with her.
I won’t help even if I do finish early, I’d much rather go to the pub. She didn’t like that and whined a little about how we’ve all been framing and stuff for weeks already. Yes we have, and you could have too.
Tuesday I was coolly and calmly bubble wrapping (I’m so cool what can I say) but it felt like I was in a giant hive or ant nest. Everyone was crawling all over each other and generally getting under foot.
The college really needs to address this space issue. It’s physically nearly impossible to do anything except bump into people and have a running commentary of apologies ready
“Oops so sorry, haha oh sorry! Sorry again. Opps! Again, sorry. Excuse me! May I jump over your work? Opps! sorry pardon me!…”
and so on.
Tiphane’s stuff was by far the most annoying being at one point spread out over nearly 3 tables.
Martyn and I were packing the front of our frames with large sheets of cardboard on Tuesday so they are less likely to smash in the van move on Monday. I had managed to scrounge 3 pieces when Martyn came in and started eyeing Adam’s and Ed’s artwork rather longingly. We both restrained ourselves from tearing stuff out from everywhere and decided to get some boxes from the college shop instead.
Sardhna and Geoff were standing outside while all the first years were painting boards, I stood there looking out hopefully for a large box I could nick. Sardhna stopping talking and looked at me expectantly.
So I ask her, since she’s looking at me, if there happens to be any cardboard going waste lying around. Sardhna gets antsy immediately.
How dare this student interrupt her (even though I didn’t) and actually oh mah gawd oh mah gawd ask her highness a question. I mean what cheek really! Students asking questions while you’re standing around looking at them? This is really not on I say.
Tutors ought to be approached from a distance while humbly bowing and kow-towing. I should have also knocked my head on the ground 3 times before I asked her any question.
Must be the ‘punjabi begum’ etiquette thing. (I don’t know if shes a punju but ‘Sardhna’ sure sounds like one)
Anyway she got all testy and said
“This is a really bad time. You shouldn’t really be asking me that. And no we don’t have any cardboard. Why don’t you try Sainsburys.”
Instead of saying all that crap all she needed was 4 words. 4 polite words. Which would have saved her what? I don’t know, wow, 30 seconds (not wasting time and all that) instead of telling me off for nothing.
“Sorry I don’t know.”
Would have sufficed perfectly well. If I (or anyone else) had dared to ask any further questions all she has to do is reduce the number of words subsequently.
“Sorry I don’t know.”
If I then ask
“but what about if…”
she should simply reply
“I don’t know”
“but maybe there’s a….”
“Do you know if…”
“Know” or “No”
What a bad tempered cow. You could argue that this is a stress thing but this isn’t inclusive to stressful times.
She also acts as if the entire 1st floor computer room is exclusive to her digital media class. No one else should talk while she uses it. I’m sorry the college doesn’t fund you your own room but I really don’t give a shit.
There that’s my vent done for the day. I feel so much better now I must say.
Back to Doomsday:
According to whispered reports spoken in hushed tones, there was someone who forgot one of their finals at home and only realized half an hour before the deadline was due.
A few last-minute tears in our group and some cranky sniping over bubble wrap (of all things) and then we were done. Quite an anticlimax.
Martyn, Adam, Ed and I sat on the stairs leading to the 3rd floor discussing how we bored were now that we had nothing to do. Then had a brief argument over war films for some reason. Onnalin and Fernanda finished a batch of their interviews and ordered me and Martyn and me in to do our time.
Interviews were really fun actually. It’s the whole power trip thing. I was rather nervous when I walked in, as if I was being interviewed.
The room was very ‘interview-ish’, blinds down, dark blue carpet, light blue computer chairs, projector, abstract art on the walls, oval board-room type table, Foz in a suit. Very formal and professional. Amalia said he looked like he was in a costume. To be fair, it was a drastic change from Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday he was wearing the tattiest bright orange T-shirt for painting, worn out sandals and Bermuda shorts with 2 hand prints in white paint on the seat. Every time he turned around it looked as though he was being molested by the invisible man.
In my mind I was expecting all the interviewees work to be stunning and/or that we would have to ask loads of questions like in a crit. But all we did was listen to them while Gay & Foz occasionally asked the really testicle crunching questions like:
“What do you think people think when they look at your work?”
“What if I were to tell you your work looks quite boring, would you care?”
“What is you want to change about illustration with your work?”
“This is an interview obviously. Is there any reason you didn’t bring a portfolio?”
I know. Amazing right?
One of the guys looked as though he had just smoked 5 joints before he came in (I fucking hate pot-heads). Another was an amateur stand up comedian. He had the clammiest, icy cold hands. It was like I was holding the hand of the undead.
I mention I feel sad that the course is coming to a close so swiftly and Foz tells me not to be daft. (what a comfort he is)
I stood in the empty studio after we were done, viewing the colossal wreckage and debris everywhere. There was this sense of eerie calm, what I imagine is left behind when a tornado had just swept through.
Martyn destroys the sense of peace by texting me saying they are all in the Crown having a massive ‘bitch’ (I wonder who was on the menu). I complain about the Crown being a tiny shit hole and am yelled at.
Half the class had starting drinking by 3pm or earlier and were pretty plastered already. Martyn informs me helpfully that he’ll protect me if the ex comes in to beat me. I respond by saying the ex can beat him up too (but he would probably enjoy it). Adam had a girl with him, the first time I’ve ever seen him being all soft and cuddly-wuddly fuzzy-wuzzy with a female. Aw cho chweet.
Onnalin and Fernanda were ricocheting off the ceiling but decided this wasn’t quite energetic enough. So Fernanda shoves a pill down Onnalin’s mouth and in approximately 2 minutes both are bouncing up and down, rocking back and forth, talking and laughing hysterically.
It’s very strange when you’re relatively sober and attempting to have a conversation with someone completely fucked out of their brain.
Both individuals eyes start glazing over (well their eyes were already glazed but you mimic them as a response). You have to remain very calm. Say things very slowly. Keep sentences very simple. Generally agree with everything they say. No negative things. Nod a lot. It doesn’t matter what questions they ask you, you’re not expected to answer anyway.
Some 30 minutes later they suddenly crash down and drag themselves off somewhere else looking dazed. Maybe to the Duracell bunny graveyard. Who knows.
Mike and one of the cute guys from the interviews was there. Whats-his-name would leave for the loo and Mike would turn to Foz with bambi eyes and beg him to tell him if his friend got in. Foz deflected all interrogation like a pro.
The ex and I decided we would only stick around for one drink. Just one more. Ok just another. Last one.
We eventually left at 11 and had to make sure Martyn didn’t go all the way to Camden instead of Kings Cross.
Pictures courtesy of Martyn (The Voice of Bedford)