The Student’s Christmas Peace

2016-12-23 - 7 minutes read - figaw

The 1. of december has arrived, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t just see, a year old joke on Facebook (the picture above,) and thought.. this year we’re going to try something new! With students, thesis’ and Christmas Peace!

During christmas many students go home to visit their families, and they’re often met with very direct questions about, when they’re done, or how “getting done” is coming along; this ruins the student’s christmas peace.

There are also many foreign students, that don’t even have the privilege of going home to their families at all, and I want you to know, we appreciate it. We love you, and we are really looking forward to having one, or two weeks of vacation with cookies, and gravy, and to be seeing you all! – Yes, I just decided that on behalf of all students.

In my family we throw a huge christmas feast, the 26th of december, every year, and since “we younglings” have grown too old to have confirmations every year, it’s usually the only time I see a lot of my family members in a year, and it’s fun to see each other, because I have a big and lovely family; so big and sweet you rarely get to talk to everyone you want, even when you have an entire day.

This post is going to be about talking, and how it’s polite to talk to people. Because there’s an uncertain concensus about what you can ask each other about, and I’d like to shed some like on “how hard it is to be spoken with”, because it’s a global joke, (see the picture at the top,) that students are going home in the holidays, to be spoken with by their families, about how their studies are going.

Let’s begin

I want you to know, that your very direct interest in our education, rarely creates any happiness, and only manages to remind us, once again, that we haven’t done the all the assignments we have to, and actually rather should be studying right now, because we have exams in january; when you ask us when we’re done or how the thesis is coming along.

There are also many others than students that’re going home to visit their families; The unemployed, the pregnant, workaholics or overworked and… how do we speak to them?

Dear friends and acquaintances, to be asking a student about how it’s going with the thesis, is like asking,

  • an unemployed, how it’s going with finding a job,
  • someone working, how it’s going with working a job from 8-16 and commuting an hour and a half every way, every day, or
  • a pregnant woman, how getting to the bathroom is going, or really just getting anywhere, and whether she’s started to sleep horribly, because someone (else than her husband,) is laying and kicking her in the stomach.

Entirely without knowing it, you’re showing interest for the thing that’s bothering us most right now, (yesyes, there are those students that just love talking about their thesis, and love their thesis all the way through, it said rarely creates happiness a bit up.)

If you do want to speak with…

An unemployed, then ask him how he’s spending his time, then maybe he’ll be able to mention something he’s thrilled talking about.

Someone working, then ask him how he’s spending his time, then he can tell about his work, if he just loves that deal he was working just before christmas. – Then you also avoid having asked about work, in case they just got sacked; pro-tip, right there.

A pregnant woman, then ask her how she’s spending her time, then she can talk about how much she’s looking forward to become a mother, or that series on Netflix, about black lesbian women in orange clothing from a United States state prison, that she’s been binging (ed. seen a lot) the last month, because she’s barely walking.

A student, correct, ask how they’re spending their time… because then I can talk about my jewellery company, and the charity I’ve been doing, or the movies I’m having fun watching and writing about, or that I sometimes go running, and isn’t actually that bad at it, even if it’s a rare happening..

.. because then we can all get to have a little vacation upstairs in our heads, without all the time, having to think about the things, we have to think about everyday.

“Why is this post filed under Funny, Stories it’s not funny at all?”, no, ha, cheated. Learn to talk to people, then you can have a joke afterwards!

“Hey, really, why are you making such a big deal out of this, is it really that horrible, that I’m paying you some interest? Would you rather that I didn’t talk to you at all??”. No, hang on, I’m actually trying to say,

  1. I really want to talk to you,
  2. but you’re showing interest in the wrong way, and
  3. this is how you show interest the right way.

This is where it gets cozy!

(Sorry, “hygge” translates horribly, cozy’s the next best thing)
Leil Lowndes, an internationally acclaimed writer and speaker, (at least that’s what she writes on her website, but she’s actually not entirely daft), has written several books on communication, (I’ve read a couple of them,) and in one of them (the one I read,) (okay.. I’ve read one of them,) she answers the question, “So how do you find out what someone does for a living?”, from Goodreads,

“So how do you find out what someone does for a living? (I thought you’d never ask.) You simply practice the following eight words. All together now: “How . . . do . . . you . . . spend . . . most . . . of . . . your . . . time?” ― Leil Lowndes, How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.

Because, if you want to start a conversation with people, it’s no good saying “what do you work with”, if the unemployed has no job, or the overworked isn’t really interested in talking about work, or the student hasn’t even started to think about, how horrible their options are after their education, for getting a job.

As a Computer Scientist, I luckily don’t have a problem getting a job after my studies, “show off!”. I don’t even have a hard time finding jobs relevant for my education, during my education, “show ooff!!”.. Yeah, really, I didn’t add it to keep the post realistic. I took a leave of absence from my job right now, because I can’t concentrate on my thesis. “Can I have reasons people don’t want to talk about work for 400, please?”.

So what’s actually left, were we ever allowed to talk to people or not?

When you want to talk to people, you’re hopefully doing it with the interest of hitting something they’re interested in talking about, so that you can keep the conversation running!

This is not just some acquaintance, you ask “how are you”, without actually showing any interest for where, who or how. This is family, and life is hard, and communication is hard; there are educations at universities that are solely about communication.

I’m not angry at anyone, I’m just saying a couple of things, a bit fast, because I understand that people are asking in good faith, without even know that they’re stepping over the toes of others, but if you and we really want to talk about our thesis/ studies/ work/ pregnancy/ jobhunt/ divorce/ bankruptcy/ umbilical hernia/ or Netflix addiction. You Name it!

Then you and I will mention it. And you and I will mention it the exact moment you’re asked, or asking the golden question,

How . . . do . . . you . . . spend . . . most . . . of . . . your . . . time?

Well, now that you’re asking, what I really want to talk about, that I’ve spending my time on is…

Writing about how you can support the student’s christmas peace.

A very merry christmas!

– Nicolaj ‘Figaw’ Græsholt

“Okay so where’s my joke?” – okay, okay! uh…

So this guy meets a couple of golfers in the winter, and he’s asking them about their game, the snow and whether they’re playing with red balls, to which one of the golfers reply, “nope, no red balls, we just wear an extra pair of underwear!”

This post is translated to english from the danish Studentens Julefred, originally posted on the 1. of december.

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