Sunday, 16 January 2011


it is eleven o'clock on a friday night
h and i have read a bedtime story from the shirley hughes anthology
and we have put the lights out
and done back scratches and foot tickles
when suddenly the telephone rings
mrs f, who's just got in, answers it
'who...? dave...? sue...? student...?'
groggily i grab the bedside receiver
to my dismay
i realize it is one of my refugee nurses
she is applying to do a nursing course at university
and yesterday i improvised a reference for her
handwritten on her application form
based on very little concrete knowledge
extolling her reliability and time management
midnight tonight is the application deadline
the problem is she wasn't allowed to submit a paper application today
it would have arrived too late
so she has to complete the form again online
which means she needs muggins to write the reference again
before she can confirm her application
i do my best to conceal my frustration and assure her i will help
best buddhist reassurances through gritted teeth
i drag myself out of bed, turn on the laptop and consult my ucas massage
i follow the instructions and get it all sent off by 11:30
all will be ok - torch wood!

whatever happened to progress?
to the idea that life would get easier and better?
all technology seems to do is speed everything up
raise expectations
place new demands
erode the barriers between public and private
i'm not blaming my student
she was only acting on advice
but it comes to a pretty pass when a man can't get to bed
at eleven o'clock on a friday night without interruption...

ps: for teschnological reasons unknown
she didn't get the application in on time

No comments:

Post a Comment