Could you go back - be a student again? Keep four seasons of clothing in three drawers? Share a bathroom with seven others? (Brushing your teeth while others ablute...) Sleep in twin beds at arms-length from a complete stranger? Eat fries for every meal except breakfast?
We've been asking ourselves these very same questions as we sleep in student dorms and eat at the student cafeteria, part of the Family Vacation Centre (FVC) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. And while marveling at the energy and pep of the students counsellors who mind our kids all day, put on shows and take adults surfing, golfing, tennis-ing and wine tasting I wonder: Crikey Dick, was I ever that nice?
First day in the cafeteria I line up for the Asian stir fry. Good girl, Jody. As the meals unfold, slowly but surely I realise I simply must simplify: it's all about the fries. Day Three I dropped any semblance of maturity and green leaves and line up with seven-year-old Cy for the lunch and dinner of kings; Coco Pops, fries and cheese pizza.
Fueled by similar diets, the student counsellors grow only sweeter through the week. In contrast, I become the ageing Faustian Picture of Dorian Gray in the attic. A hard bed and cheerleaders indulging in noisy discos nearby conspire to make my eyes puffy, my back creaky, my stomach bumpy and my mood grumpy.
My student summers in New Zealand were busy with bagging potatoes in my parents' fruit shop and cleaning campground toilets - universal skills, surely - but how would I fare here? Turns out the local coffee shop on Isla Vista, the IV Drip, has more than 60 applications a week. So many in fact that the owner asks applicants to submit their qualifications in art or sculpture. The many hundreds of meticulous art works include puppets, masks papier mache dolls and 3-D rooms. I'm way outclassed.
It becomes pretty obvious that I have lost my 20-something capacity for mystery cocktails when, during the quiz night, I imbibe a few too many "Wonderwomans" - vodka, cranberry and some third ingredient that makes you terribly interesting and a fabulous dancer. Next morning it was all Pow! Smack! Bam!
I had to take the next night off ...and just as well. Some other vacationers tell me about the Best Margarita competition. At one stage three women - in a bid for the judges' favour - take off their shirts and dance lasciviously around the judges and room. As one observer said to me later: "Somehow when you're 50-plus wearing a sports bra and high-waisted white granny pants, you can't quite pull that one off."
The next day I limit myself to a student clothing budget and make my first foray into Forever 21. I bought a $4 large owl necklace to match my bright yellow owl shirt. "Oh you could be in the Kappa Blappa Blooper (or words to that effect) sorority - they love owls too," one of my friends told me. Not sure if if the Kappas - whoever they are - would have me. But whatever your real or imagined sorority, sometimes it's better stick with the wise old owl...
1. Cheapest Five-Minute Philosophy: For a donation of $2, "One Feather" a former married nurse and now a single 62 year-old will tell you what you need to hear. He's been "fortuitously divested of all material possessions through divorce" and while you view his van - he has spent the last 17 years decorating it with toys - One Feather will regale you with his veritable pearls. "Whatever you Scoobydoobydo, you do it with Love. " And "Fill in the gap: All you need is..."
|Cy, One Feather and Tallulah|
3. Cheapest Artshow: "Cardboard Beer Crates on a Cactus," Via Del Pas. Goodnights and ugly mornings. The stuff of haikus, mate.
4. Cheapest Healthy Tucker: Pho, Isla Vista. Clear wonderful chicken broth and cilantro with prime views of the Tattoo Parlour opposite.
5. Cheapest Kool T-shirts: Akomplice on State Street. Interesting graphics for political stance - poor and devastated Africa, gas is blood money - but why do they need to mix in pictures of huge breasts? A mammoric political view or just boorish grunty youth?
What do you miss about your studentdaze?
Oh Lordy, woman, you had me in tears. I think I would have to see that margarita competition to believe it. :)ReplyDelete
Hahah - love that you did this. Definitely don't think I could though!!ReplyDelete
These are great photos, i could maybe go back to school lol cringing at the thought of exams lol Great blog, i am now following you! Follow me back, if you like? :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for your lovely comment! Would you like to follow me?ReplyDelete
You must have so much energy and a sunny disposition..sounds like you had a really great time...go girl! and I love that you say bugger like I do!ReplyDelete
I love Santa Barbara :) I think the only thing I miss about school is some of the classes. Everything else, such as living situation, etc. I don't.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful weekend! xo
Lol sounds like guide camp sans alcohol !! I would be happy to do it but my body isn't up to it. Youth protects us from lumpy tummy, hangovers and no sleep puffiness. All we can do now is watch the young enjoy it or not care a dot and dance in grannypants :) I'm with the second option :)ReplyDelete
First off---thank you!!!! I am so excited!!!! Please let me know that you got my email.... (I have been having comp issues all week...)ReplyDelete
Second--- I had to laugh thoroughly at this post. My youngest sister is off to college this month. And my husband and I have been asking ourselves the very same thing-- could we live like that again. Of course- we haven't done the experimenting you have!
Wow... Very interesting to say the least!ReplyDelete
No, now that I've read through your entire post- I couldn't do it. I've never lived at college (commuted), and think I just might gain 30 lbs and probably flunk out :). But I'd do it for a week!
Don,t think I would be brave enough for it now.Fabulous blog BTW.ReplyDelete
I love your blog because I can always count on a good giggle.ReplyDelete
Funny stuff, but I never lived on campus, I think I missed out a bit.ReplyDelete
& That owl necklace is adorable.
Now I want to check out Forever 21. Never been.ReplyDelete
I miss being a student sometimes, at University of Hawaii. I should've done more partying. I pretty much was a good girl, working my way through college. How boring. :)
Oh, I say. You've practically reinvented yourself. As a student. Interesting.ReplyDelete
My student days. Playing my banjo, with another fellow on guitar, singing in the college quad. Protest songs: "Kum By Ya," "We shall Overcome," "The Times they are A-changing," and, . . . and. . . . Good Heavens, Jody; you're making me all nostalgic.
Best return to the real world. Oh, wait; we need those old songs today, too! Hmmmm.
Jody- What an adventure, sounds like a lot of fun. I miss student friendships - so easy to pop in on people, now it's check the calendar and cross your fingers. The all-you-could-eat dorm ice cream bar was pretty cool, too.ReplyDelete
I miss being a student, but not sure I could go back to it. I met my husband at Uni, and thinking back to what we were like then is funny - life consisted mainly of going to the pub, buying greasy burgers at 11pm and the occasional hungover foray to the library. These days we're more likely to be tucked up in bed by 10pm watching our boxset of The Sopranos....ReplyDelete
Don't think I miss a thing about student daze. Except the youth-ness. But as 'they' say - 'youth is wasted on the young'. Very true in my case - was probably drunk for most of it. Never lived on a campus and very glad of it - I'm not sociable enough. Bad enough in one place sharing a kitchen with large Hell's Angel types playing cards (never knew who they were or who let them in now I think about it - didn't think about it at the time, just didn't use the kitchen...). Oh dear now this IS making me think back to those old days.... really best not...ReplyDelete
Very funny - love the way you write.ReplyDelete
hahaha very funny post! 1st picture is fabulousReplyDelete
Sounds like fun, but I'm not sure if I've got the energy anymore either. I HAVE to have a good nights sleep or I'm CRANKY! I think the sorority that loves owls is Chi Omega. I am/was one and it's our mascot. We would Gladly take you as a sister. In fact, I'd nominate you for president :)ReplyDelete
I'd love to tell you about my student years but I can't quite remember them, though there is a three year period of time in Otago that has no other feasible explanation. Actually truth be told I make my kid laugh at what we used to do as students - the full moon howling, the orientation 'bathings', the teddy bear murder. Oh happy days. By the way you've been tagged over on my blog on the 7 links from the blogging journey meme.ReplyDelete
Ok, that is all priceless! Absolutely priceless. My student days are long gone. I am a mess after 3.5 glasses of wine. If it's champagne, I become decidedly cuter and it after 4.5 glasses, a bit of a flirt. Regardless of the amount consumed, however, I'm proud to say I've yet to take off my shirt and dance around a group of judges. That's the line I've officially drawn in the sand.ReplyDelete
LOL. Jody, that blog entry had me in stitches. You are too funny and oh so insightful. I love that one so much, I'm sending my family members to your blog so they can get an inside glimpse of life at the FVC. Keep your eye out for some "Gorman's" to join your fan club. SallyReplyDelete
i had a good friend that went to ucsb and i went to visit many times for the fun and margerita parties in isla vista. i think that "free art" has been up for over 10 years..;)ReplyDelete
I had to laugh about the guy who's decorated his van with toys--I hope that's not my fate, but I'm much too grumpy myself to be handing out pearls of wisdom or otherwise. Anyway, you are a brave brave lady--I don't think I would fare as well, but definitely would stand in line with you and Cy--yum!ReplyDelete
xo Mary Jo
You're so funny! It was not bad or anything but I just don't miss my student days. Love my Alma Mater though.ReplyDelete
You make me laugh.
Bahaha! This is hilarious! Love this post :) Thanks for your comment, and so happy I found your blog! xxReplyDelete
This gave me such a good laugh - hilarious! Hmm, I could us a Wonder Woman cocktail right about now...ReplyDelete
Random commoner but I love that owl shirt. I've seen it three times this week. It's calling to me. I need to buy one I think.ReplyDelete
looks like fun! great postReplyDelete