… 2ndweek of Uni underway. Initial thoughts? Many and varied ones.
(This post has nothing to do with fruit crumble by the way, the photos are just here for the ‘bants’).
It’s a strange feeling to be sitting in a room with young people the same age as my eldest, trying not to act like a ‘mum’ and refraining from saying things like ‘a coke and chocolate bar is not really a good lunch’ or ‘it’s cold out there, you should be wearing more than a crop top this time of year’ or ‘maybe going to bed a little earlier might be a good idea’ or ‘’sit up straight’ etc. etc. You get my drift, right? And so far I’ve managed to stay quiet… but what the point is… who am I in these situations? I am a mother, I am a 49 yr old woman in a class of 19yrs olds, I come with a whole load of baggage and experience and ‘life’… should I ignore it? How stupid would I look down in the student bar downing pints or shots of whatever young’uns drink these days. Nobody needs to see me in a skimpy vest, and I’m not about to get a tattoo… and I’m very aware that in open discussions my comments reflect all this… is this bad? stupid? or do I offer an added dimension that they can ignore at will, because let’s face it… find me a 19yr old who listen to their mother…
So, tell me. Who am I? because, ‘mother’ is not enough, nor is ‘wife’ and definitively ‘student’ is not enough. All those are a part of who I am… I’m simply doing this because I wanted to fill my time, because I needed to engage my brain, because I love books, because it’s a fabulous challenge… ‘mature student’ is even worse. What does that even mean… it seems to me to be a euphemism for ‘old student’. I don’t feel ‘old’, old means having given up on things… and I certainly haven’t.
Maybe I need to stop trying to define myself. Who said we need a badge? I am who I am, like everybody else I’m multifaceted and cannot be squashed into one word. Like the young people around me I can be silly and immature and happy and depressed and insecure and confident and mature and old and wise and responsible and irresponsible and smart and stupid. We’re all the same, although to be honest, two drinks are enough for me, and they’re mostly still in bed while, by 9.45 this morning I had done one set of laundry, filled the dishwasher, finished the ironing, made my bed, dropped a forgotten folder at school to No 3 and prepared tonight’s dinner…. Just saying)
I think it’s a slight case of impostor’s syndrome creeping in. I do feel conspicuous sitting in class surrounded by people who were born after the first 4 Harry Potter books were published, and I do feel like hiding at the back if it wasn’t for the fact that I can’t see the screen/board properly if I do…
Let’s have some crumble.
BUT BUT BUT… I’m also loving it. I love to see young people around me, having fun, ‘chatting breeze’, I love to discover new stuff, tiring my brain on new ideas… and my modules this year are totally fabulous: post-colonial literature (never even knew it was a thing, and now I do and love it), ½ semester on children’s literature (I get to read Little Women and Harry Potter… as homework!), Shakespeare from a social history point of view (fabulously interesting, clever boy old William) and a class on philosophy (which I think should be compulsory for everybody).
… too be or not to be… maybe that it’s not the right question… we should all just be the best we can… and now if you’ll excuse me I have a washing machine to empty…