During previous exam study periods, my walls have been adorned with post-its bearing various motivational messages such as “A 2-1 IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, “YOU CAN’T WRITE ESSAYS ABOUT ____________ (whatever book I was absorbed in at the time) CAN YOU??” and “STOP PLAYING DOPE WARS”. They worked.
This time I wanted to quote Dizzee from Stand Up Tall, but then realized that my mum wouldn’t take too well to “Can’t run the marathon without training or stretch the arsehole without straining” whenever she comes to my laptop for her Solitaire fix.The poor woman already takes issue with the photos I paste on my desk wall (of my life in England):
My mum: From these photos it would look as if you’ve had strings of boyfriends!
Me: Mum, two of the men with me in those pictures are priests, and another one is the preserved corpse of Jeremy Bentham.¹
My mum: That’s even worse!
¹ Upon graduation, I thought it was only polite to pose for a picture with the subject of my dissertation. (Jeremy Bentham, not his corpse.)