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Uni Foibles: Ridiculous but Entirely True Episodes of a Student
Episode I: French Frat Party (La vérité, Toute la vérité, Rien que la vérité)
2017. The year I begin university. How many times can you count when an adult has
described their years of tertiary education as the best of their lives? I had heard this same
soundbite for many years, so I was interested to see whether it would be as kind to me. It’s
time to be proactive, be more outgoing, be the model student you lampooned in high school.
Clubs? I’ll be joining them all. I’m an astronaut in the universe of scholarly greatness; and as
such, UWA O-Day was my launchpad.
But choosing the club to join first proved to be a task in itself. Which spoke to me the
most? After minutes of careful deliberation, I set my sights on the UWA French Club. Not
only was I taking French as a broadening unit, but I’m a shameless cultural snob who enjoys
the finer things in life.
O-Day soon came. It was a rambunctious carnival with endless stalls, awash with
colour. Full of noise, chatter and sweat. Mostly sweat. Upon my arrival, as if fate had
presented itself, the French Club stall was the first I saw. It was glaringly obvious, as the
signup table was patriotically decorated in red, white and blue. As was the banner, which read
‘FRA’- France’s universally recognised three-letter code.
Even though French my classes hadn’t commenced, I had a few handy phrases up my
sleeve. It was time to impress. They were never going to forget the time a fresher approached
their club and initiated conversation in French. I was destined for French club stardom. I
strode eagerly towards the stall and my fellow francophones.
“Bonjour mes amis” (Hello my friends). Can you think of a more perfect opener?
What could possibly be more endearing? Not only do I speak French, I am openly initiating a
French camaraderie- another French word! Conversely, I was met with an awkward pause
and a few snickers.
“Umm. Bonjour?” said a boy who looked to be the person in charge. A girl next to
him just sat and stared, her eyes boring into me. I suppose they were a little taken aback. I
couldn’t blame them. My aptitude had obviously startled them. I cut right to the chase.
“So, how much to join?”
“It’s five dollars. Plus twenty if you wanna come to our frat party”.
Frat party? Did I hear that correctly? The UWA French Club is holding a frat party?
They do frat parties now? How splendid! What better way to fulfil the club’s mission
statement than celebrating French culture with a raucous French party? Eat your heart out,
“I’d love to come to the frat party! Très excitant” (Very exciting). Again, a tense pause. For a
French club, they sure don’t speak a lot of French. Or at all, for that matter.
“Great” the boy said. He produced a generic signup sheet.
“Can I get you to enter your details right here”. I quickly scrawled my details in and
returned it. I was chuffed. I couldn’t believe I was about to join a French club, better yet one
that held frat parties. These could be the best years of my life.
“Great. Here’s your sticker and ticket”.
“Merci” I cooed. “And au revoir”.
It wasn’t until I was walking away that I looked down and saw the ticket I had just
paid twenty dollars for. It read: “*OFFICIAL FRAT PARTY TICKET*. You’re invited to the
wildest night on campus. Don’t have a drink in your hand? Spend money and lower your
standards. Presented by UWA’s premier event host, ‘Sober?’.”
It was then I truly believe that my soul left my body, for I hadn’t joined the UWA
French Club at all. It was a figment of my imagination. The stall was for ‘Sober?’, a hard
truth of which I was unaware. In my mind, I began to replay all the times I had spoken
French to them, confidently, to which I was met with silence. I slowly turned around to
where I had just committed the act. The glaring girl was bent over reaching for something
under the tablecloth. She picked something up and reattached it to the banner. The letter T. T
for torture, terror and triste. FRAT.
Anon., 2017. About Us. [Online]
Available at: http://www.uwafrenchclub.asn.au/
Anon., 2017. List of Emojis. [Online]
Available at: https://www.emojibase.com/
Anon., 2017. Sober?. [Online]
Available at: https://www.facebook.com/sober.uwa/
Walker, D., n.d. The Evolution of a Worshipper. [Art] (CartoonChurch.com).
English: “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”