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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume 3 | Issue 17 | May 01, 2011 |


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Ruled by Pet Peeves

Fauzia Sultana

Organising books by authors' last names, sensitive to creased bed sheets, grossed out by people chewing with their mouth open -- the list of pet peeves would go on. Pet peeves or bug bears are annoyances or irritations we encounter in our everyday lives. Often we find our mothers cleaning the table they cleaned a few minutes ago or a friend trying to put things in the right place at a shop and we happen to laugh at their peculiarity. However, as strange as it may sound, we all are infected with this eccentricity or, in the language of the Geeks, with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. Not just in housekeeping, these pet peeves invade every aspect of our lives and one such instance is 'studying'. Well if you thought writing with only blue ink was normal and not an obsession, here are a few instances that may surprise you.

Scratching out for the millionth time is a norm for some 'crammers'.
Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Some pet peeves make you feel like matrons or governors, where you want to have everything meticulously organised. Whether it is your school bag or the study table, you want everything prim and proper. “I am very allergic to unshaped books. Scribbled or creased pages annoy me. So while studying, I first bring the book to a good shape, and only then can I start concentrating on anything,” says Nazia Sultana, a student of Maple Leaf International. "I used to arrange my books according to their sizes, when I was in school!" says Shadaat Haque (not his real name), currently a lecturer at BUET, who still continues to have this mania.

For many of us, it is not unusual to make our own notes and not study the ones our friends prepared, because they read like Greek or Latin to us. “I am kind of like a 'tube light' and it is no exception when it comes to studying. To get the hang of a new topic, I HAVE to read the entire chapter once, making it easier for me to understand the text better when I read it later,” says Fariza Alam, a student of the Department of History in Dhaka University. Many of us are also bugged by the mere presence of say our siblings, while studying. Hla Tun, a fresh graduate from the Department of Chemical Engineering, BUET shares, “It gets on my last nerve when an invigilator is staring at my script or is simply standing in front of my table during an exam or a test and I end up writing nothing!”

Allergy towards group studies also count among pet peeves, because what others explain to you goes over your head and you end up just wasting your time. Concentrating is quite a hard thing to do especially when in the background nothing is silent. Your eyes are fixed on the words and you try to imagine pictures of what is written, but instead, you focus on the noise that plays in the background and shout out, “Be quiet!” Then there are also the night birds, who literally cannot study in the daytime. Remember the Indian advertisement on TV saying 'walk and talk'? This is how Tasmia Nusaiba, a student of the English Department in North South University relates to it, “Unlike others, I need to walk while reading to get full concentration in my studies."

In addition to these typical bug bears, some also have the 'seasonal pet peeves syndromes'. During the exams, many of us turn into weird aloofers; things that we usually die or kill for, like facebooking or talking on the cell phone, seem disturbing at that time. There are even few who deactivate their Facebook accounts during their exams because they are annoyed (thankfully!) by the addiction of checking their account every now and then in the middle of studying. Some even switch off their cell phones to avoid calls interrupting their concentration. Not to forget there are the superstitious ones, who think the colour orange or the pair of worn out shoes will help them pass the exams and if, by chance, they forget bringing these lucky charms to the exams, it would bother every little hair on their body. “Exams are the only time I study, and while I do, it is a MUST for me to listen to music, be it Metallica or a slow number. Although my folks think I am a maniac to prepare for exams this way, for me this is the only way I can gain concentration,” says Waris Sami, a student of Aerospace Engineering in Centennial College in Canada.

Pet peeves are just the way we are born. If someone arranges things according to their shades of colour, there is no explanation for that. Without these pet peeves you would not be you and life would be so much more dull and bland.



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