Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Days of identity crisis

Identity and crises are two words that seem to travel together a lot these days. Maybe they always did.

I struggle to think back to which identity I adopted or displayed when I was in my mid to late teens, and shrink a little from the knowledge of the people pleaser that I was then.

That set me wondering whether or not I went straight from school (which I hated) to university (which I mostly loved) because I wanted to go or because it was a first in my family and my father particularly was pleased that I was going.

No, it's too difficult. I can't catapult myself back far enough. I have to trust that university life was what I had to experience.

University, for me, was what school should have been. Within reason, here was this smorgasbord of lovely yummy subjects spread out in front of me, ready to be tasted and savoured. What bliss.

Of course, some subjects like Organic Chemistry, I just wasn't ready for. And the further you went up the course ladder the less likely you were to change your direction which was always a problem for me because I desired it all. Desperately. I loved all the subjects, hard and soft, big and small. I would have lived at University forever and been happy, but you're not supposed to do that unless you become one of the permanent denizens like lecturers or professors.

I hope young people will find university full of rich experience like a tasty fruit cake, but fear that life has moved on to colonise the dreaming spires with the performance management type of thinking that dominates almost everything these days. The hysteria about marks and competencies. The hours of form-filling. The rules. Oh, the rules.

Rules rule Brittania.

I wish we could wave the rules and have each of us just be great in our individual and personal way.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Phew! University

What a stressful three weeks we've had. A result that was supposed to come out on August 22nd didn't. AQA sent out the wrong results and took a week to correct their mistake.

Since then, all kinds of hassle. The result was that E has gone to a university 300 miles away, and she is now skyping and texting instead of talking face-to-face in the flesh and it's so difficult. I hope it gets easier, but I suspect that things will chug along until she makes the two-train and one-bus journey home for a weekend or for the Christmas break.

It has taught me a lot.

Turns out she has been (and still is) one of my best friends and a deeply sensitive and sensible counsellor.

She has been there for me as much as I ever have been for her. 

She has made me so proud.

When I look back over my shoulder at her journey I am amazed at her courage, fortitude, determination and diligence.

Around the area, I see other women that I know have watched their youngsters fly/drive/take the bus/hop onto a train away from their homes to start their real adult lives. Just as I salute the young people, I put my psychic arms around the grieving mothers. You are all astounding human beings. Every last one of you.

May your journeys be full of love, laughter and light.