At our university, we not only offer full-time studies, but also teach students who are working for most of the week. One of our programmes is for tax consultant trainees: They do both an apprenticeship at a company and a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. This means that they visit a vocational school on Monday, work from Tuesday to Thursday, and attend university on Friday and Saturday. I have nothing but respect for these guys; they are 18 years old and will not have a private life to speak of for the next 3-4 years while studying for not one, but two professional degrees simultaneously (although it is beyond me why anybody would want to spend their life working on taxes. I love maths, but tax is just plain boring.).
To reward them for their hard work, the professional body who organises their training invited students (and lecturers) for a little summer party at the lake. They had also offered to set up a short sailing lesson, which some of us gladly accepted; I had been thinking about taking up a sailing course earlier this year, but had decided against it due to my many and manifold activities. I really enjoyed sailing, though, and if time permits, I shall pick it up next year.
Unlike some of my colleagues, I don’t mind meeting students in a private setting. My relationship with them is fairly relaxed anyway; we are usually on first-name terms, and I don’t have a problem doing extended small talk with them, including some personal topics. So when I got a text from F, asking me what I was doing and whether I wanted to meet up, there were some questions coming up: “Is he your boyfriend?” No. “Would you like him to be your boyfriend?” Don’t think so. “Do you fancy him?” Yes and no. The students were rather confused, but so am I at the moment. In the end, he came to pick me up from the party and we cycled to the city centre, sitting by the river and talking for a couple of hours. I am still none the wiser, though.