I almost don’t recognise myself! For the last week I’ve been getting up early, always by 8am, doing an hour of work before lectures, working efficiently between lectures, concentrating in lectures, cooking proper food, sleeping (almost) enough every night, thinking about work when I’m not actually doing any, and generally feeling positive and happy despite a demanding workload and a packed timetable.
It’s such a contrast from this time last year. All the worries I had about maybe not being able to cope with coming back have evaporated, because although there still aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the reading I want and need to do, I’m still on top of things. I’m not drowning. I’m not even waving.
I had my first supervision of the term today: Criminology, Sentencing and the Penal System. I think it’s probably the subject I find easiest, with the least demanding workload, but that isn’t so much because it’s an inherently easy subject but because unlike my other four, it’s not about black letter law and learning facts. Instead it’s about current affairs, sociology, legal theory and having opinions. I’m very good at having opinions! It was great to start the term with a supervision I felt fully prepared for. Things will probably get progressively worse from here, due to the structure of my timetable – next I have administrative law, which I really enjoy but which is very complex and involves a huge amount of reading, then international which ditto and is further complicated by the most ludicrously convoluted case law I’ve ever seen, then next week contract (argh) and then land, two subjects I find simultaneously dull and impossible. But maybe that’s the best order to have things in, because every fortnight I can start again on a positive note.
I’m certainly feeling positive today! As well as a successful supervision and two good lectures, I had tutoring with my Korean student. I’m really impressed by how smart he is and how well he retains things, and today I also discovered he has a keen interest and fairly well-established understanding of grammar. We covered the sort of grammar that people my age still struggle with sometimes, such as subject-object identification and the imperfect tense. Teaching him has made me extremely aware of just how many English words have double meanings, and how hard it is to explain something new without introducing half a dozen other concepts which also need explaining, until eventually you’ve both forgotten where you started.
And to cap it all, I’ve done a fair amount of fast, purposeful cycling which I just love. Last summer when I lived in Arbury, which is about three miles away from college, I would cycle into the centre and back several times a day and it was exhilarating. I was there again on Saturday night for my friends Sarah and Henry’s leaving party, which was a lot of fun. Cycling back yesterday morning (I stayed over because it had got quite late) I felt really energised and ready for the day – a totally alien feeling for 8.30am on a Sunday morning, even before I got ill!
The way I’m feeling at the moment, things have really turned a corner. If I can keep this up I feel like I can achieve anything this year. My student will be writing novels in English, I’ll get a first in at least one paper, choir will be fabulous and life will be great 🙂
And next time I’m feeling down about something, I’ll just come back to this post and remind myself of all the good things in my life!