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Reading weeks!

(46 Posts)
Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 18:30:49

DSS1 at Bristol has reading weeks - basically a lecture/tutorial free week in the middle of term. Sounds like half-term to me. His Christmas and Easter holidays are three weeks long, as opposed to the four weeks I had (at the same university) a generation ago. So basically the holidays have been rearranged.

He wants to come home for his forthcoming reading week. The problem is that it does not coincide with his brother and sister's half-term and everyone here in Paris will be at work/busy. I am none too keen on having him hanging around at home all day getting under my feet but he would much prefer to be here than at his mother's (where there is no-one to keep him company).

Am I being terribly mean to feel resentful about this?

senua Fri 28-Feb-14 18:52:19

Yes you are being a meanie. Let him come home and feed him pancakes.grin.
In theory he should be working so he shouldn't get under your feet too much.

magicalmrmistoffelees Fri 28-Feb-14 18:54:02

Won't he have things to do, like studying? Friends to see? Seems a bit mean, it's just a week!

UptheChimney Fri 28-Feb-14 19:12:54

We require our students to stay on campus during reading week: they have a set of tasks, meetings, and scheduled activities. It's not a holiday.

Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 19:36:03

He won't have any friends to see because they are at prépa and working hard - he'll be the only one on holiday (hence wanting to hang out with me who he perceives as available hmm). I suppose I am dubious about the working all the time and not bothering anyone - DSS1 likes contact with other humans . The concept of personal space is very hard for him to understand.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 28-Feb-14 20:20:14

It seems unusual he isn't needing to be there. Like upthe, ours are meant to stay at university during reading week, and you might think they'd ignore it but you can tell they don't just by walking around campus.

I know a lot can be done online or with library books, but he'll also be missing out on all the normal socializing.

Is he struggling a bit/missing home, maybe?

Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 20:22:41

He's fine! We hardly hear from him these days and his marks are stratospheric.

I don't really know what it's all about. DP thinks that he is nostalgic for the time last year when our world revolved around him, his bac and making sure he was fine at every moment of the day grin and that he wants some more. Which I cannot currently offer!

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 28-Feb-14 20:24:03

Makes sense, to be fair! smile

Might not do any harm to let him know you know it's not really meant for holiday, I guess.

Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 20:27:40

Yes, I think you are right! I need to be very clear that none of us are on holiday, he isn't meant to be on holiday either and that no-one should be disturbing anyone else or requiring special care and attention...

I don't want to hurt his feelings and I don't want an entitled boy who thinks he can swan home to 5* hotel service whenever he feels like it either!

Whyjustwhy Fri 28-Feb-14 20:35:42

How about a compromise and encouraging him to come home for a long weekend, then return to uni for most of reading week?

Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 20:37:06

That would be better. Sadly he negotiated with his mother to come back to Paris for ten days (and has the ticket) but now wants to spend those days with us hmm.

Whyjustwhy Fri 28-Feb-14 21:08:00

Aah, oops! grin
Any chance of changing the ticket? Otherwise looks like you'll have to accept with good grace.

Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 21:12:29

Yes. But I think I need to explain, for future reference!

Bluestocking Fri 28-Feb-14 21:36:54

It's a bit sad that he isn't having such a blast at Bristol that he wants to spend the week there! Do you think he's finding it hard to make friends?

webwiz Fri 28-Feb-14 21:45:21

All my friends with DCs who have reading weeks seem to come home for them. I would have thought it was a good opportunity to get on with some stuff at university and spend the time with friends on your course. I only have experience of science and maths courses so have no idea what you are supposed to do in a reading week!

Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 21:49:07

He's got loads of friends and already has fantastic accommodation for next year sorted and signed for with a great group. It's not that.

Bluestocking Fri 28-Feb-14 22:46:30

In that case, you've just made him too comfortable chez vous!

UptheChimney Sat 01-Mar-14 09:52:10

Bonsoir you will just have to ignore him, and go about your business as usual. Or let his father deal with him.

But really, he should be at university.

Bonsoir Sat 01-Mar-14 09:55:12

I'm interested that the academics on this thread think that students are meant to stay at university during reading weeks. I think I will investigate this point before talking to DSS1. I need to be clear for the future...

goinggetstough Sat 01-Mar-14 09:59:24

Both the universities my DCs have attended haven't had reading weeks, but I know my friend's DCs who have had reading weeks have all come home to work.
Plus just for information not all courses at Bristol have reading weeks.

NCISaddict Sat 01-Mar-14 09:59:40

My Nephew is at Bristol and can come home during reading weeks, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't.

Bonsoir Sat 01-Mar-14 10:00:57

Yes, I looked at the Bristol web site and worked out that not all courses have reading weeks and not all reading weeks happen at the same time. It seems to be at the department's discretion.

UptheChimney Sat 01-Mar-14 11:09:04

We see a reading week as a break from scheduled lectures/seminars, but not a break -- the kids have a lot of other stuff to do. And we often use them for bulk supervisions/personal tutorials, because we can schedule them all across a couple of days.

We've taken them off the timetable for a reason, not a holiday.

So I get a bit pursed lipped when students tell me they're "going home" -- they say to work, but they generally don't have the resources they need to do the work. I still require that they actually read books. I imagine if they're in a science lab-based course, this is even more the case.

And then the ones that use it for a family holiday -- well, I despair. And it's often parental attitudes that are the problem, frankly.

So Bonsoir, to be frank, you do sound a bit resentful, but OTOH, your DSS's mother seems to be enabling his slightly entitled-sounding attitude. And where's his father in all this? (I'm assuming you're his stepmother).

Bonsoir Sat 01-Mar-14 11:16:53

DP is the one who has been dealing with it - basically DSS1 negotiated with his mother to come back to Paris during reading week a long time ago. I knew nothing of this and I'm not sure DP did either until we received a family invitation for next weekend and, after various consultations, we agreed that DSS1 should be with us next weekend to attend the event. Only this week DSS1 has decided that he wants to come here, not stay at his mother's. I think DP ought to say to DSS1 that he has to stay at his mother's (as originally negotiated) until Friday but he is not keen to do this as he thinks DSS1 will piss about all day and argue with his mother in the evenings (99% probability based on previous experience). Obviously DSS1 ought to have asked DP and me much earlier on what we felt about his returning to Paris for reading week..

UptheChimney Sat 01-Mar-14 12:04:42

Setting aside the issue of your DSS potentially using an independent study week as a holiday ... I'm not sure why it's such a big issue for you? Why can't you go about your ordinary activities while he's there, and resist his attempts to be self-centred? My DS has finished university and he's travelling but he knows that when he comes back here, he's expected to fit in around my day to day life, and do his own washing, tidying etc. I cook for him in the evening as I'm cooking anyway, but other than that ...

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