||Jul 6 2002
JERRY Hall has dropped out of a week-long residential course at Stirling University.
Despite promising to ditch the glamour, Mick Jagger's ex told the Open University she cannot attend and will not require her £28-a-night digs.
The summer course is an important introduction to her Humanities degree.
The OU said they would not discuss the reasons for Jerry's decision to pull out.
But an insider revealed the mum-of-four applied for an exemption because she could not leave her youngest children - Georgia, 10, and Gabriel, four.Her decision comes weeks after the model-turned-actress said she was looking forward to mucking in with other students.
She could easily afford the £1450-a-night Royal Lochnagar Suite 20 miles away at Gleneagles Hotel but said: "I'll be staying in one of the halls of residence with everybody else.
"I know it might be a bit bizarre to see me wandering around the campus, but they'll soon get used to it.
"I can't wait to start at Stirling. It's going to be great."
An OU spokeswoman confirmed Jerry is committed to studying for her BA.
She said: "The residential course does not contribute to their final mark, but it is important and students are encouraged to attend."
||Sun, sex and (some) study: what Jerry will miss
Having signed up for Stirling University's legendary summer school, Jerry Hall has got cold feet. Perhaps that's not surprising, says Janet Watson. After all, is she really up to it?
AT the end of this month, Jerry Hall was meant to have taken her place alongside other Open University novitiates in a student residence at Stirling University. It was always going to be a strange experience for her -- this is, after all, the woman who left Texas for a modelling career and then left that to become Mrs Mick Jagger (even if in their subsequent divorce they agreed they had never actually been married). It was never going to be Pot Noodles for breakfast and Limp Bizkit for tea, was it?
Now comes the news that Hall has deferred her studies for a year. Other things to do, apparently. Me, I've got another theory. I think she's going to use that extra year to do a little, er, training. I think the full reality of what summer school is really about has finally hit home.
A friend of mine who used to lecture at the OU residential school in Stirling would joke that during those weeks, when night fell and the moon glowed seductively behind the Wallace Monument, you could actually feel the campus moving up and down. As a veteran of two such weeks, I know you need to pack a pair of earplugs if you want to get any sleep at all. Failing that, you need to acquire the best under-eye shadow- concealer money can buy.
Socialising into the wee small hours is a summer-school must-do. Things may be a little slow for a night or two as people settle in and get to know one another, but from the mid-week retro-disco night onwards, if my experience is anything to go by, sleep becomes a distant memory and days blend into endless nights of drink, dance and, er, assorted other forms of revelry. How could it be any other way? Take several hundred adults, many of whom will be full-time parents who haven't seen the inside of a bar in months, perhaps years, and put them in a beautiful campus in the middle of summer where the walk from bar to bedroom is 10 minutes at the most, and you have a recipe for the most sustained period of irresponsible behaviour most will have had since they were teenagers.
The academic side of the week is as intense as the social programme. Most OU students are studying because they want to, so lectures and seminars are well-attended -- although attention first thing in the morning is generally focused on where the next black coffee is coming from, rather than on the finer details of social science or psychological theory.
But sex is everywhere: the furtive glances during lectures, the 'discreet' returning of personal items such as watches, lighters or socks across the breakfast table, and the ecstatic noises from the adjoining room at 3am, just as you've decided to get an 'early night' and put your lights out.
A hall-of-residence neighbour at one school I attended could be heard chatting on his mobile of an evening -- not that I was deliberately eavesdropping, but the walls really are that thin -- explaining, presumably to his wife, how hard he was working and how much he was missing her. Ten minutes later there would be a knock at his door, and a female voice would be heard asking if he was ready. Later, back in his room after the bars closed, the earth would move for them -- and for most of the rest of the corridor -- while those of us who were alone waited for their passion to reach its natural conclusion.
I don't imagine the residential school organisers have to twist many arms in order to have the full quota of lecturers on board for their summer programme. After all, there are plenty of perks for them too. During my first Stirling week, I was fighting my way to a packed bar when a kindly lecturer offered to take me to his room and explain the finer points of cognitive psychology.
W hen you do finally arrive at Stirling, Jerry, you'll find that the summer school is everything you've heard it'll be -- and more. The pace is ferocious and only the strong survive, so get into training with plenty of early nights and lots of high-energy meals.
It'll be a marathon of hard work and even harder play. But who would want to miss out on those mad, moonlit walks around the loch which forms the beautiful centrepiece to the Stirling campus, cans of warm lager under one arm, well-thumbed books under the other, treading carefully so as to avoid any passionate couplings by the bushes?
As for me: I'll see you next year, when I get one last bite at the Stirling summer school cherry. But first of all I'm planning to radically increase my exercise regime from about next spring onwards: I don't want to be the one student poring over my books and passing out while everyone else is pouring another glass of wine and making passes.
One last thing, Jerry. Make sure you pack a spare pillow. The ones on the Stirling campus suck.