It started off like any other Monday, I woke up at 6am, staggered up and tamed my wild bed hair and splashed my face with cold water and got ready for leaving to go to college to be taught by the most “temperamental” teacher on the whole college campus in time for 9am. There was a difference to this day though as it was…. “the  interview”. 

The interview I speak of was for my level 3 Health and Social care course that I had wanted to do (these things seem like such a good idea at the start of the year… boy time is a great teacher!). When I am finished with college I want to work with adults and children with disabilities (both physical and mental), so at the time I figured that taking this course would help my career prospects.Anyway, after my dad kindly dropped me off at 9am (as traffic was bad, it takes 45 minutes to get from where I live to college each day) , I began the long, laborious journey to my classroom (we health and social care students are located in a higher part of the campus). By this stage in my own unique way, I had worked myself up in a rather epic way thanks to my old enemy; nerves.

My heart was pounding, it felt like the temperature had risen rapidly since arriving on campus, my legs turned to jelly and I had all the coordination of a drunken flea, (this is not a good thing to have if you are also wearing a heavy rucksack of books on your back).

By the time I had traversed half the campus and climbed up the two flights of stairs it was…. 9.06am. Making me… 6 minutes late. By the time I reached my classroom, I knew then that it really was… Monday. I peered through, seeing that everyone had gathered in the class already and my tutor…. looked positively murderous.

With a deep breath, I walked through the door; which slammed ominously shut behind me. The room fell silent at the addition of my presence. I hoped then I would be able to make the journey to my seat at the desk, but sadly… it was not to be. I opened my mouth, hoping that a well thought out apology would soothe the raging dragon but alas I thought wrong.

“I started this lesson SIX minutes ago! where were you?!” she exclaimed in a tone that was fully loaded with venom, making all eyes turn on me in an instant. I suddenly could relate to Darth Vader’s underlings in Star Wars when they had to break the news they had yet to find the Rebel Base. I tried in vain to explain about the traffic and how I was very sorry, but it was no good.

With a wave of her hand, she silenced me and then broke the news. She was to conduct the interviews for the course I had applied for, and they were A) due now, and B) She was interviewing ME first in her office, which was down a long hall from our classroom. After I and my fellow applicants heard the news, a feeling of dread and foreboding swept through each and everyone of us like an icy, Arctic wind. After sending the rest of the ones that had applied to go on to greener pastures, she took one look at me and simply went: “Come”…..

I silently followed her down the hallway, our footsteps echoing as we walked, with her ahead of me and I trailing behind, knowing what was to come.  

After what seemed like an eternity, we reached her office, she opens the door to allow me in and then shuts the door, cutting off my one and only escape route…. She then turns to me with a look of malevolence that made my brain suddenly die and goes: “So, why do you want to come onto my course?”

I then shakily begin my response, she then frowns and goes “Oh shut up a moment”….

I then become somewhat startled, and recoil back in my seat. After what seems like an eternity, she waves a hand and goes: “continue”….

So, I press on into battle with my well thought out piece. I then freeze as her face seems to darken even further than I had thought was even possible for her, and she replies:

“Well, I don’t like time wasters, you have to give me 110% (what ever happened to the good old 100% eh?), I want you to look again on the course website and stare at the course description and think to yourself “is this really for me” After all, on level 3 I do not take the same amount of rubbish that has been taken on your course currently” (and there I was thinking I applied to her course for funzies, like a student right of passage or something, but maybe that’s just me!)

I respond with: “Okay, I will do”

She responds with: “That isn’t good enough! I don’t feel that was a motivated enough response!” (there I was thinking I should have bowed and go “yes my master”….)

She then shakes her head and goes “I need to see the next person now, send them in”…. I say I will and take this moment to make a bid for freedom and escape. I felt like Judas, summoning in another to experience what I had; but I had to.

One by one we did, each coming back with a look of trauma and shock. Eventually, she returns to where we had all gathered, makes us sign our names on a piece of paper (a mysterious blank looking paper) before vanishing once more. Afterwards, we all turned to one another, each thinking the same thing: “What was I thinking?!” Was that pain all for nothing? I do not know, as I am not aware if anyone has been selected. I am starting to hope I do not……..

Luckily, one year on, I have gotten through this year on that very course with most of my sanity intact; I have managed to learn the student Jedi skill of couponing and also ventured into the wonderful world of job hunting, ready for another year of student life, complete with a whirlwind of assignments, stress and of course those moments where you think “where did all my pens go?!”
Somewhere, pen suppliers know full well where most of their income is generated… and smile.