South Park Self

the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to

God, but horrible things happen to students. I have just sat in a readmission appeals committee for six hours, giving curriculum input on all these poor kids. Apart from the usual transition shock and the need to struggle through the challenges posed by finance, housing and travel issues and the truly appalling academic grounding provided by all too many of our schools, we have today contemplated the lives of young people suffering date rape, violent rape, assault, theft of laptops and books, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, unplanned pregnancy, serious illness, hospitalisation, AIDs diagnosis, estrangement, the illness and/or death of sometimes multiple family members, bizarre legal wrangles, learning disabilities, social stigmatisation, victimisation, stalkers, and the occasional curse. I can identify what I call a "depression transcript" at a single glance - the horribly revealing slow slide from competence into lower marks, a few fails, and finally the long, telling strings of absences. A day like that, you start wondering if anyone ever succeeds at anything at all before the inevitable nastinesses get them.

I want to have several cups of tea, a good cry, and an evening of vegging out on the sofa in front of something incredibly Hollywood and fluffy. Except I can't, because they stole the TV. It'll have to be the old fallbacks, viz. Skyrim and fanfic. Anything that distracts from the feeling of complete helplessness in the face of evil.

If I meep and tremble at odd stimuli a bit in the near future, please don't hold it against me. I have too high a bloody empathy stat for this job, is all.