I want it and I want it now – or I'm throwing my rattle in the bin!
I was not always a student landlord. I, like most, was once a student too – but I Was perfect! Actually I remember failing at school in every conceivable way. It was worse because others (mostly teachers and especially the really clever ones) could not understand what I could not understand, so maybe they were not so clever! I was incapable of explaining what I did not know. Teachers, though they knew, were incapable (and thereby arguably culpable) of communicating what they knew, to me. Result – raaaah ! This was a frustrating time or, in modern parlance, “a rubbish time”. Some of the best teachers are those who took longer to forgive subjects themselves and then knew how difficult it was for others and how important it was to 'spell it out' by repetition!
We live in an instant society with same day delivery, “Today Not Tomorrow”. Personally I hate queuing! This instant expectation impacts if in / tolerant we are or become. Older long-term residents know when bin-day is and this to the point they never forget it. I could wonder that such events are the highlight of the week for some, given the importance attached to it when compared to other matters of higher priority to most. Long term residents also know 'what' to put inside each bin. Yawn, the complexities of what to put in recycle sacks; they know to position the bin, with lid sealed closed, exactly touching the boundary of their properties, failing which bin men (sorry ladies, bin operatives) almost certainly go out of their way way to refuse the refusal. Meanwhile whilst unclear it attracts all sorts of attention: a 'Street Scene' fine, rodent revelry and disdainful resident demeanours. No implication connecting the latter two. Locals know that if they do not return the bin after reason is removed, the bin might be stolen or borrowed , eg as a means to access an open window by burglars or when keys to a neighboring property are misplaced following a student's 21st party night out (the issues of noise is covered in a separate article); locales know that an uncollected bin set on fire by the front door might prevent escape. They know how to recycle: plastic, aluminum, card, paper, all of the correct grade, etc. Residents know that, until mid 2013, Canterbury has no door-step recycling of glass, unlike other cities from where students came. Residents seem to know it all. All that is … except one tiny, but majorly important detail … one consideration that fails to credit local's many years of accumulating wisdom (if not rubbish) – they do not know why other people do not know what they know but take for granted. Some local residents belittle 'reprehensible', behavior with euphemisms, describing students as “intellectually challenged” because students have yet to reach long-term residential minimum standards of perfection.
Try and explain notions of tolerance and you may be met by a pair of determinedly deaf local residential ears. To locals it is so very obvious, but not yet to students. On the other hand, when explaining to students the importance of “rubbish rules”, they are green-minded, apologetic, open and very responsive, with most often grasping it. Others seem oblivious to the rules seemingly slipping between wet fingers. One house which has been 'trying' as regards rubbish, have improved enormously, but still they have not yet got the hang of 'it', not because 'it' is hard, but because 'they' are hard. What are “they”? “They” are the numerous rules, do's and don'ts in Canterbury, compounded when compared to the rules back home. To be fair to tenants, no sooner have tenants awarded the understanding concepts, than the academic year is over and the recycle-learning curve continues with any new intake.
Personally, I would choose my imperfect but reasonably minded students for neighbors over any perfectly intolerant local neighbors any day! This is not to say all local neighborhoods are intolerant – some, having endured years of suffering, have frankly had enough and have given up – who can blame them? There appears to be a large number of locales who just do not understand what students do not understand.
What do you understand , sorry – I mean what do you think …?