Jarov Syndrome


Bustling Jarov

Bustling Jarov

I am sitting in my office and trying to read an article but I have found that my eyes don’t want to work with my brain. I am lounging. Dangerously. My body having achieved the consistency of overcooked asparagus.

It gets worse. I realize after a while that there is a line of drool attaching my lip to my right forefinger.I am the textbook definition of listless. Other synonyms might include vague, dormant, inert, mentally fatigued.

I look around. Fortunately, my languidness has gone unnoticed, as my colleagues are in the same condition.

There are several reasons for our condition. In the first place, it’s the end of school, so our workload has gone from a daily grind of lessons, consultations, and planning to workshops, prepping, and administrative duties. Read: There is downtime. Yesterday, I translated the phrase ‘I am eating a taco’ into forty-six languages on Google translate.

ฉันกินทาโก้. Sto mangiando un taco. Eszem egy taco

Secondly, there are no students buzzing around the place and the difference in atmosphere is remarkable. A month ago the place was teeming with students, knocking on doors, testing, doing anything they could to talk to the teacher they needed. Now, we are simply a group of teachers with no students to teach. We are antsy to teach people and it’s getting to some of us, too. I swear that I caught the Spanish teacher trying to teach numbers to a goldfish on Monday.

Third, we are not exactly in the most inspired of locales. We are in Jarov. If you have never fallen asleep on the tram and been kicked awake by an angry mulletted tram driver in Jarov, Prague 9, let’s just say that it’s a part of Prague that never ends up on postcards. There’s a car dealership, an Armenian restaurant, a Kaufland (supermarket), and a tram depot. I have heard rumors of a pizza place nearby, but I have yet to see it.

It’s only when the excitement of students and teaching dissipates that we teachers realize just what a bland location we are in. They sky seems grayer here. We look out the window and there is nothing to see. It doesn’t make us angry or upset. It makes us, well, nothing.

You see, we are all suffering from Jarov Syndrome.

There are lots of syndromes connected with locations. There is a syndrome called Stendhal Syndrome, or Florence syndrome, which is a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and hallucinations when someone is exposed to an experience of great personal significance, particularly viewing art. Basically, it’s hyperkulturemia, which sounds like something I caught in college that needed a special lotion.

There is Jerusalem Syndrome, which is similar to Stendhal but involves delusional religious mania in otherwise non-religious or delusional people while visiting the city of Jerusalem. Of course, the intense heat could be a factor. Similar syndromes are attributed to being confronted by immense natural beauty, like Mount Everest or the Grand Canyon.

I guess the idea is that someone is so massively overwhelmed by a place that their brains can’t take the overload and fall to psychosomatic pieces.

The Jarov Syndrome is the opposite. It is a reaction to the flat and uninspired landscape, a lack of students to teach things to, and several hundred thousand menial tasks. It’s symptomatology consists of a throbbing listlessness, a deep interest in random phrases in other languages, and an inability to function at a normal reading level.

The excitement in the office peaks now as I shake off the film covering my brain and tell my colleagues that I am off to Kaufland. I need to check out their afternoon salad bar and everyone perks up. We all wonder if the chickpea salad will be fresh, if the stuffed peppers will be spicy, and if the friendly serving girl will be working. I decide to get some wraps and smoked chicken and if all goes well I will soon be saying:

jaz sem jedo taco.

  1. #1 by Nicole on June 29, 2015 - 8:30 pm

    Yes, I can relate to all of this right now! Mine is Branik syndrome.. although unfortunately no connection to the beer. What a tease!

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