You Win Or You Die | The Last Year of University Pt. 4

the short storyTo quote one of my classmates, “It’s so strange to know that every single person in this room is a Game of Thrones fan. Like, there is at least one topic of conversation I know I can have with each and every one of you.”

the long storyI’d like to argue that university life is like Game of Thrones. In so far as you either play the game and study hard and win (or cheat the system to get good grades), or you suffer the tests and readings and due dates and fail epically.

I mean, it’s a really bad, tortured metaphor on my part, but how else was I going to introduce the fact that my English class this term is all about A Song of Ice and Fire?

I love this class for multiple reasons. One is that it’s a welcome break from my science courses, making it my favourite elective by far. We go to class and discuss different aspects of Game of Thrones. My reading assignment for this week is fanfiction…a conversation between Cersei and Sigmund Freud.

I will admit there are a few downsides to the course. The class attracted a more diverse crowd than usual…and in that I mean the majority of the class isn’t Arts majors. Most people are science or engineering or business students, trying to fulfill their breadth requirements. This leads to less than typical discussions on theme and

But the best part of the class is the participation quiz, which is held every week. The class is divided into seven houses (I’m in Martell) and and everyone writes a quiz. The average mark of each house determines the rankings that week. The house that comes in first “absorbs” the house with the lowest average, unless the house with the highest score is a vassal, in which case they are freed.

It’s really funny, because in the first few weeks, the Starks and the Targaryens were vassalized and the leading houses were the Greyjoys and the Freys. Then my house, the Martells, stole the Targaryens.

(I realize this but only makes sense to those who know Game of Thrones, but really, if you don’t, why would you be reading this?)

The Targaryens recently broke free though, so we’ll see how that plays out.

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