The first day of school has always made me just a teensy bit delirious. Fresh-sharpened pencils! Blank exercise books! Lunchboxes (after six whole weeks of eating like normal human beings at a kitchen table)! Teachers! Libraries! Assignments! But, yes, mostly the pencils and the notebooks.
That feeling hasn't lessened even though it's more than twenty years since I was in kindergarten (um, ouch) and this week -- the first week of my second year of uni -- I feel the old happy delirium all over again. Learning is exciting. Information is exciting. And -- I won't lie -- blank notebooks are very exciting.
I'm taking three subjects this semester. It still counts as a full-time study load, but will -- in theory, and hopefully in practice -- leave me time to dive back into some freelance work. I say dive but I imagine it will feel more like wading leaden-footed through a muddy mangrove swamp. Freelance writing is not like other work; there is no boss around the corner who might walk in at any moment and see that you are fooling around on facebook. There is only one person to crack the whip, and it is you. But it is challenging and stimulating and adventurous nevertheless.
My subjects this semester are Ancient Civilisations, Prose Writing, and Literature and the Christian Faith. I'm eagerly anticipating all of them, but that last one has me rubbing my hands together in a sort of gleeful, silent happiness. It consists of a whopping overview of English literature from the medieval period through to the twentieth century, tracing Christian themes as they emerge from within literature and also as they influenced it. The course looks at a vast variety of writers, from Shakespeare to Flannery O'Connor and T.S. Eliot. I estimate that there's about 9,000 pages of required reading this semester -- I'm not even kidding -- and most of it looks delicious.
I'm ready to dive in.
PS. These pictures have nothing to do with the first week of school and everything to do with the last week of holidays -- which were fantastic, by the way.