Saturday, August 18, 2007

Worldly goods

Been watching Noah Baumbach's exceedingly funny 1995 debut, Kicking and Screaming, which is about a group of students who are mentally and physically unable to leave college life behind after graduation.

Among the numerous twinges of recognition, I was struck by one image: the open back of a big station wagon, containing a student's possessions, en route from one place to another, neither of them quite 'home'. This was a recurring motif of my university years, as my dad developed new and ingenious techniques to accommodate my exponentially increasing collection of ephemera into a Fiat that, as far as I know, had no dimensionally transcendental properties.

But does this still happen? By far the biggest part of my accrued stuff came in the form of books and records. Surely nowadays students just stick everything on their iPods. And do they actually read books any more? What's Wikipedia for? In theory, all a student needs can be contained in a decent-sized suitcase or rucksack, and a laptop. And you can lug that lot onto a train or coach.

As the tired old A-levels controversy rumbles on, inevitably accompanied by pictures of cute, 18-year-old blondes in skimpy tops, have we seen the end of Volvo tailbacks around our university towns in the first week of October? Or are parents so desperate to check out their little ones' rented hovels that they drive them down anyway?

Oh, and Bill Deedes: Resht in Peashe.

1 comment:

Special K said...

Oh, that's one of my favorite movies! When I first went to college I had one suitcase and a box - by the end, I had a huge book collection and quite a few more boxes.