Jax in Jozi: Jackie Bischof’s column for www.vuvuzelaonline.com

2 Oct

I’ve recently diagnosed a new condition in my family. I’ve studied them under highly stringent scientific circumstances, and while I may not have adhered to random sampling (though my brother and sisters are – I must admit – somewhat random), I do believe that my study has scientific merit and should be unleashed on the world for review.

I’ve called my newly discovered condition “Work Induced Amnesia.” I’m going to have to think of some fancy Latin name for it, like Employitas Forgetalstuff or something equally larney.

I discovered this condition while moaning to my brother and sisters about my incredibly heavy workload recently. I had carefully detailed the implications of the looming deadlines I was facing. A 15 000 word research report, three exams, five portfolio assignments were being juggled along with writing for Vuvuzela, two 20-page applications for my Masters, part-time work to pay my rent and food and a severe lack of sleep.

My complaints fell on deaf ears. And that’s not only because my siblings have inherited my parent’s knack for selective hearing. By the time I had reached the end of a synopsis of my research report,
their eyes had glazed over and they had started reminiscing about their days as students. “Ah,” they sighed. “To be a student again…” I knew what was coming: Afternoons spent on the library lawns, 24-hour parties, intellectual conversations over beers at The Pig, student night at Roxy’s and the inevitable lecture about the pleasures of three-month summer holidays.

Now, I’ve always known that my siblings have a bent towards madness (I have inherited it too. It’s inevitable when both your parents pass it down), but this time I had to intervene.

“Excuse me? The glories of students days?” I asked, incredulous. Clearly my middle sister had forgotten that she had done two seperate Honours reports and twelve subjects in her final year. It had also become apparent that my oldest sister had suffered complete amnesia about her final, sleep-deprived years at university. (I used to think this was as a result of having two children, and enjoying the epidural a tiny bit too much, but I realised I was terribly mistaken…) Obviously my brother’s memory of having to juggle three jobs and apostgraduate degree had been completely wiped out.

At first I thought it was the horrors of the working environment that had emptied their memory faster then Britney Spears could empty a bottle of vodka. But wait, surely getting paid to endure the trials of work is better then paying to endure the tribulations of university? Surely there was some redemption in being able to buy a work suit instead of popping down to Mr Price for new underwear?

And then I realised. It’s a disease, and it should be universally recognised. It’s a real condition: forgetting the stress and misery of university days, and calling them the “best days of your life” is a
way of preserving an illusion of better days gone by. Clearly my siblings have gone delusional. I can accept it though, it’s easier to extort money out of them that way.

So now that I’ve diagnosed this incredibly important condition, I’m going to make tons of money by writing a self help book entitled: Make Your Terrible Job Seem Better By Remembering How Awful University Was – now in ten easy steps! Seems like a done deal.

I just hope I don’t succumb to the disease myself. I hope I always remember the moment of pure, heart attack-inducing stress that accompanies the end of the academic year. If I don’t remember, that’s ok though. I can always rely on my siblings to be the delusional subjects in my new bestseller.

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5 Responses to “Jax in Jozi: Jackie Bischof’s column for www.vuvuzelaonline.com”

  1. David Bischof October 2, 2007 at 9:43 am #

    you should have known what you were in for.. after all you started coming to Varsity lectures with us in your school holidays! talk about mad!

  2. jaxbischof October 2, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    i was merely trying to broaden my outlook on the world, m’kay? and i was bored darn it!

  3. Mad Lynnie October 3, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    Hey! Calling me mad. Are you mad! I am in full possession of all my mind and the other one as well! I will not have someone telling me I have amnesia! I remember.. I remember… What do I remember? Not much I must say. Nevertheless, I did always have a sneaky suspicion that I may not be altogether there, but you may not broadcast this to the entire world! Beware! I am married to a lawyer. It’s just bits and pieces that are missing. Otherwise I am perfectly fine!

  4. jaxbischof October 3, 2007 at 7:48 pm #

    You just outed yourself to the world Lynnie…

    (note to readers: see? this is where I get it from)

  5. David December 12, 2007 at 5:52 pm #

    Hi! I was googling myself and found this blog! I love it! Coming from a fellow Bischof in Columbus, OH! David Bischof at that! If there is more than one of me, this could be dangerous!

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