I know we've had a hot, beautiful summer this year but for some reason it just doesn't feel long enough to me. I was in the shops on the weekend noting the winter stock creeping in everywhere and I just can't believe it's that time already. I think on some level I somehow expected this summer to last forever. The worst part is I never even made it to the beach! I'm sure there are still a few warm days up autumn's sleeve, but it's just the last few rays before sundown. Still, at least I've begun to appreciate winter for its fashion options - I do love my jackets and scarves after all. I've already found two jackets to drool over. Hmmm jackets...
This week of course marked my return to uni, though now as an illustrious post grad student. Before I start the inevitable complaining, I just need to stress something. Over my uni career I have often lamented how little affinity I felt with the tertiary education system. All my life I wanted to go to university (well, from the first time I set foot in one at the age of 6), I've always been obsessed with knowledge and I loved the idea of this institution where people got together out of their own free will to pursue their interest. I went through school thinking that it didn't matter if I didn't feel like it fit, once I got to uni, everything would work out. Then I got to uni and it was nothing like that. I hated my first semester, and though I settled into a pattern that I was content with, I always regretted the fact that reality wasn't even close to the idea in my head.
Now, however, I realise that all of that was just a necessary evil to get to post graduate work where, though it is early days yet, I finally feel like I belong. I have never been so at ease with myself and others, so comfortable and confident. It's such a liberating feeling. It is just nice to be in an egalitarian environment where people are from such diverse backgrounds and interests, all genuinely collected there because they want to learn and grow, and all secure enough in themselves not be those grandstanding students who declare their opinion loudly on everything (aka people Admit it!!! was written for). I feel like finally, finally I have gotten what I've always wanted from an education system.
Also, it must be said I am so stupidly glad I did Honours. It is one of the best things I have done. I know I complained endlessly but even as I was doing the complaining, I knew in the back of my mind there would come a time when I recognised how useful it was...and certainly that time is already here. I may not be particularly well read in very recent theory or literary developments, and I'm certainly not as widely read as some of my classmates, but because of the seminars and research I completed for Honours, I am familiar with a wide selection of theorists and concepts, so much so that I no longer feel completely lost when people start bandying about French literary theory. To be honest, that feels fantastic (and I guess that's what should happen as your education progresses, I am actually just happy I'm finally retaining something.)
University however is still steeped in eccentricity and bureaucracy and so of course I reserve the right to complain. I've already had two visits to the student centre because it turns out my non-fiction class is exactly like the creative non-fiction class I took in my second year, right down to the readings, and it was suggested I apply for 'recognition of prior learning' so I am not bored to death. Now if I should get this, it means I only have two subjects this semester - critical writing, and advance narrative writing.
So, to conclude the round up of my first week, I've never been as happy at university as I am now, I love all my subjects, I'm calm and confident, I get compliments and I make people laugh. At the start of the year I thought I'd finally made peace with who I am, and maybe I have and that's translating into this, I don't know. All I know is that I'm happy, and I want it to last. I feel positive about this semester, it looks breezy and I am confident I can do well.
Night classes are going to take some getting used to, I'm sure new dinner schedules and waiting for trains will be refined as the weeks go on. There will also probably come a point where people fall into the pub after class. It also complicates my social life but c'est la vie.
Speaking of social life, I'm going to moonlight cinema on Friday to catch Breakfast at Tiffany's and I'm trying to rustle up some company to see the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Spring Awakening though I only have one day I could possibly see this. I have a friend's daughter's birthday to attend on Saturday and then Alice in Wonderland on Sunday. Rock and roll.
Now, random links.
- David Tennant is to play "half-dead military man" in new virus movie. Uh right.
- Here is a quite lovely random piece written by Redditor alukima about finding happiness
- Philip Palmer did a blog post on 'Avatar' which I found quite interesting. I think the notion of black-white morality might have been one of the reasons I found it hard to engage with the film.
- I don't know what's happening with this Google Books thing, but I love this Google Monster art.
- Finally, I trust everyone has seen the new OKGo video for 'This too shall pass'
Now I can either watch an episode of Buffy, or do some of my reading....hmm I'm sure you can imagine which is more likely.