Man who studied at University of Life got a 2:2

A MAN who claims to have studied at the University of Life did not pay very much attention to his studies, his friends have concluded.

Judging by his shambolic lifestyle and myopic world view, 40-year-old James Bates must have been an absolutely piss-poor student who spent more time smoking weed than going to lectures.

Bates said: “I learned everything I need to know on the streets. I took classes in keeping it real, rolling with the punches, using my common sense, and basic IT literacy. Well, that was actually at the local community centre.

“Did I pay for my tuition? No. Do I have massive student loans? No. Do employers laugh at me when I write ‘School of Hard Knocks’ in the education section on job applications? Yeah, they do, actually. It’s a bit rude.”

Friend Lauren Hewitt said: “Despite claiming the University of Life is the only education he needs, James is a bona fide idiot. He once got on a Megabus to Rotterdam thinking it said Rotherham, and didn’t even grow suspicious when they were crossing the sea.

“Frankly, I’m amazed he managed to get a 2:2 and not just a big fat fail.”

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'My bassoon Grade 5 has served me well in life,' muses middle-class man

A MIDDLE-CLASS man forced to learn the bassoon as a child has reflected on how useful that skill has been to him in adulthood.

Joseph Turner spent countless hours aged between eight and 16 learning the wind instrument, and now as a 49-year-old is recognising how worthwhile that was.

He said: “The bassoon is a harsh mistress but a rewarding one. Where would I be without her?

“I’ll never forget the thrill of making it through Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze without a single wrong note. While my peers were partying and making sweet love, I was coaxing beauty from my instrument. No regrets.

“And it’s stayed with me ever since, in the loft. Do I still play it? No, not these last 33 years, but I remember the lessons it taught me. Controlled breathing. Accurate fingering. Reading music.

“Admittedly none of those things help in my career as an actuary, but all my middle-class peers have flute, guitar, piano or French horn to grade 5, so it must contribute somehow.”

He added: “Of course I’m passing it down. Elbert is learning classical guitar and Lark’s a whiz on the harp. They’ll thank me for it.”