"Mmmgnafghh" is admittedly a curious noise. And it is no wonder that a noise such as "Mmmgnafghh" would attract the attention of practically anyone who hears it. Much to the distress of the most recent undergraduate of your collective experiences. "Mmmgnafghh" might be emitted in a variety of circumstances, to whit:
#1. When falling off a climbing wall at an altitude of less than nine inches.
#2. When getting attacked by a hungry black bear
#3. When riding one's Hog, or other two wheeled vehicular transport over a particularly bumpy road in the direction of Kejimakujic National Park
I can think of several other examples, but I am too kind to include them, even though "When getting run over by a lawnmower" does sound extremely funny.
All of which should not distract from the plain fact that shortly after sitting down in my tutor's office for a seminar on Reflective Learning, among a group of complete strangers whose presence, age and, admittedly, sex, made me quite apprehensive, "Mmmgnafghh" did, once again, erupt from the old mouth, involuntarily and completely unwelcomed.
The circumstances are to do with how we(ie RHB and self) are currently (dis)-organised, as we adapt to the change in circumstances which has accompanied my undergraduateness. It has become very, very obvious very, very, very quickly that if I have a seminar/workshop at 12.15 at the University, I may possibly have to rethink my scheduling. Specifically, this would refer to organising meetings with tradesmen ( at Large Villas) that are timed so that I just about have enough time to get to the University thing after the meeting, provided I can sprint (in my dirty site clothes) from the house renovation (Large VIllas) to Nickson Mansions (our apartment), shower, get changed into my Uni-togs, jump on the trusty Crosstowner, and ride like the very divil hisself to the Wilberforce Building.
This scheme, which for the moment I will refer to as my 'plan', is, as I discovered, full of potential. There is the potential that the shower in our attractive-on-the-surface-but-so-badly-done-in-practice apartment will not be working. There is also the potential that the trusty Crosstowner has suffered a slow puncture, likewise that the cat will choose to escape, and double likewise that the only clean top I have is creased like tissue paper. On this day, all of these potentials are realised, as I sprint to make my seminar after a meeting which went on too long. I pull my jeans from the dryer, which has malfunctioned, and nearly cooked all my clothes instead of drying them, float some of RHB's deodorant under each arm and liberally across the chest, and nurse my valiant steed Universitywards.
Miraculously, I arrive at my tutor's office with five minutes to spare, enter at the appointed time, and then wait for the rest of my seminar group to turn up. As I am rapidly learning, undergraduates are late for F****ing everything, and are completely unapologetic about it. Eventually, the rest of the seminar group arrive, with an attitude that seems to say that the tutor is lucky they decided to show up. A big part of me wants them to get a job in Leeds. Nevertheless, the lecturer starts the session.
I am very uncomfortable with the topic we are about to discuss. This is because we are about to discuss a Chapter of our assigned text titled "Issues Around Reflective Learning". I do not have to read further than this Chapter title to realize that me and this topic are going to have issues of our own, and that if I do reflect at all about the topic, it is with an accompanying sense of nausea. Nevertheless, I have independently researched the topic and have written three pages of foolscap notes, littered with phrases I intend to use in the seminar, phrases such as 'Bullshit', 'Twaddle' and the familiar stand-by 'Post Modern, Freudian pseudo-scientific clap-trap'. Naturally, I have referenced research papers to back up my opinions.
Unfortunately, as the rest of my colleagues take their seats, my uncomfortability with the topic is matched only by the uncomfortability rendered by my jeans, which, having been cooked in our malfunctioning dryer are now tighter thanI am used to. As an expectant silence settles on the Prof's office, I lean back in my chair, and attempt a re-jig. This involves crossing my legs. It is at this moment that the "Mmmgnafghh" is emitted. Apparently, the seam betwixt my legs has issues around the contents of my physiology that occupy the same space and exerts a sudden, inexorable, intense and focused pressure on the now totally-redundant-for-at-least-the-next-five-hours aforementioned objects. Experience (I was after all a Goth and used to wear VERY tight jeans) has taught that relief can be obtained by instant, gentle massage, but that is probably a questionable route, given the circumstances, so I opt for a massive cough and banging my notebook around as if I am arranging it.
The professor, still with a look of mild surprise on her face, invites us to reflect on what we have learned since our course began.