TabGuide: How to blag a seminar

ORIEL WELLS has some quick tips to get you through that hour of hell.

You’ve just stumbled out of bed, the hangover is looming, your hair smells like a combination of fags and loneliness, and worst of all you have a seminar in twenty minutes that you haven’t prepared for. Times like these require immense skill and cunning, but since most people don’t possess either of those attributes after only 3 hours of sleep and a hell of a lot of quaddies, here are some tips to help you out:

Wiki it

Wikipedia is the Holy Grail for unprepared students, so make full use of this facility and try to cram in as much knowledge as possible on your way down to Elvet. It doesn’t matter if some of the dates are wrong, a person is misquoted or even if the philosopher you’re quoting definitely died in the 17th century, though apparently has something to say on the Iraq war; as long as you have SOME relevant information you can wing it.

The saviour

Blame a technical error

The age-old technique that has been handed down for generations; relying on the unreliability of your computer/Internet/memory stick/printer (delete as appropriate) needed for your presentation has saved many a student’s skin. Just make sure they don’t call in one of the technical team.

Never got the upgrade

Be overly enthusiastic

Just because you don’t have a clue what’s going on doesn’t mean that you can’t get involved in a few, less incriminating ways. Smile knowingly at a difficult equation, frown quizzically at a controversial political statement, and nod the hell out of any statement made to the group – the educated nodder can steal the glory from the actual speaker if they show their support passionately enough.

Knows how to look the part

Just keep talking

You don’t actually have to know anything, as long as you talk with enough confidence and use long enough words. Asking your tutor a few curveball questions that don’t lie within their narrow realm of expertise is sure to rattle them enough to forget how irrelevant you and your contribution are. If you can spout enough bullshit for a long enough period of time without taking a breath then your tutor will be so reluctant to pick on you again that you should be left alone for the rest of the seminar/ year.

Learn from the King of chatting shit

Eyes down

Some tutors are so callously cruel that they will make a point of picking out the quiet ones to fulfil their sadistic dreams. Fortunately for you though, most can’t be bothered to go out of their way to actually interrogate a particularly unwilling student. It takes monumental focus to avoid the gaze of a tutor, especially when the inevitable awkward silence descends,  but remember that once you look up, you’re trapped, so invest all your energy into analysing the hell out of your knuckles.

Good practice for the next time you get the tube

Have a breakdown

Breakdowns aren’t something to be taken lightly, but desperate times call for desperate measures and sometimes the only thing you can do is cry. Face rubbing, hair pulling and vicious rocking are all imperative to make the performance effective and allow you a safe escape from the seminar hell.

Imaging naming your child after a direction

Do a Neknomination

Let’s be honest, even after all this prep, you’re probably still screwed. It’s the third time in a row you haven’t read the book and no amount of cleavage showing tops is going to get your tutor to forgive you. So you might as well embrace your status as class drop out and use the opportunity to produce an at least vaguely amusing Neknominate. Double points if you get the tutor holding the funnel.