Monday, January 31, 2011

Raising the bar

Last week was one of the most amazing in my whole life. It was all about personal success and I'm still having trouble taking it all in. A few days which were all about ME and new milestones and achievements.

Monday began with the arrival (just as I was about to leave for college) of my author's copy of 'The Mammoth Book of Hard Bastards'. Was torn between going to Spanish class and revelling in seeing my work in print but dedication won out and I just popped it in my bag to savour later. My concentration was out the window in class of course but I carried the glow of being a 'published author' around all day. When I finally got home and actually read some of my words in print it brought tears to my eyes. It really is like giving birth and seeing your child for the first time! Of course, I immediately picked up on a couple of things I'd have changed but I guess that's normal for a writer LOL.

More ego-boosting with the discovery that I'd managed to come joint first in Spanish Culture last term. Only the end-of-term results to come and the elusive grade for my English poetry essay. With all things going well I was beginning to get rather nervous that my luck wouldn't hold. It did. No repeats to do and firsts in Spanish and Celtic Civilization. Almost got the magic 70 in English but, after some initial self-flagellation, learnt that not being one of the 15 out of 500 to get an A was still a great result. Even managed a passable C in Philosophy! All the hard work and angst had paid off and the results have spurred me on to keep the nose to the grindstone this semester.

After all the academic highs of the week, had the whole family around at the weekend to celebrate my youngest joining the ranks of teenager-hood. It was a couple of days of being a mother and having fun. No matter how great things go for me in college, when push comes to shove, my greatest success in life is raising three wonderful young men :-)

Without the worry of waiting for results it is now time to steady myself and concentrate on doing better this semester. The reading load is huge and every course is demanding a lot more than before. Seems like it will only be a matter of blinking and exams and Easter and the end of term will be upon us.

One final 'rush' today when, at last, my essay grade was posted by the English department... Yes, I got my first 'A' and it's probably the achievement that put the biggest smile on my face.

Oops! NOW I have a lot to live up to!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Back in the deep end

The first week of the new semester is over and already I'm exhausted. I'd forgotten how tiring being in college was and the literal mountain of reading to be done over the next few weeks is very daunting. Of course, having to lug myself round campus on crutches doesn't help and, by the end of the day, my leg is very painful and swollen again. The price of dedication!

The new courses are more interesting than last year's. We have new lecturers and seem to be expected to work at a higher level now. Friday's Philosophy lecture was a blast! Teleportation and the consequences thereof. A question to think about for next week is how to get from the lecture discussion to why we should be nice to other people? That certainly made for a very interesting and hilarious conversation in the car later on! We were also invited to ask the lecturer afterwards if we wanted to know how light-sabres work.... and you know that I did :-)

Best of all is being with friends again and chatting over coffee in Smokey's or sharing a cigarette in an alcove out of the rain. I wasn't the only one who found the holidays long and missed campus life. We 'matures' seem to be more focussed than ever. One of the girls has even been to a careers seminar to help her discover where next year's subject choices will take her. We are going to start having a Spanish study group to give us a chance to actually speak more of the language and I am getting a Spanish-speaking partner for oral practice.

It's all go again! Harder than ever to fit in 'normal' life. Guess it will all sort itself out in a week or two. Time now to do some housework and try not think of all the college-related things I should be doing - Read Jane Eyre; do Spanish essay and homework; photocopy Welsh poetry; read Celtic Civ for next lecture... Oh! And buy more books :-)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holiday over

Three whole weeks of not being a student and the new semester looms. Typically, despite a couple of attempts to open the books over the holidays, I've left all the homework for this weekend. Have the house to myself for a change so will have to immerse myself in Spanish again. It's so hard when there is so much sport on tv today!

I found it very odd not going to college for so long. Really missed campus and the daily interaction with my friends. However, had all the boys at home for a change and we did have a great time together. It did me good to switch off the little grey cells and be 'mum' again - even on crutches!

Yes, I did go to the hospital after the exams and had the leg x-rayed. Nothing actually broken but really bust up my knee, ankle and shin and should NOT have been given only one crutch by the college clinic. Still on painkillers and not able to walk far without the crutches but definitely on the mend.

Finally got some feedback on my second English essay yesterday. No grade yet but extremely positive comments and not a correction in sight! Was almost crying with happiness. All the work I put into the essay was worth it. Maybe this will be my first English A?

Come on girl! Time to get working again.