As I write this, the hours are drawing to a close on what was my first proper day at university. *wry smile* I began the day’s official business by starting off in the wrong direction to collect my timetable, but ran into other students who were, thankfully, more enlightened than I was. I shall now make the first pointless observation of this post by stating autumn is almost upon London, and the leaves are falling into drifts that the wind swirls in circles. Just the way I read it happening in books. There is so much that is still amazing about London to me. The way breath mists in the air, the scent of the air being so fresh - it’s all still new to me.
We had our first Law talk in the Chemistry Auditorium. With a massive periodic table up on the wall. And our first speaker said, “If you’re seeking invisibility in a large lecture theatre, the best place is the front.” Unfortunately, the mere mention of that condition made me wonder why, our sub-dean’s first name being Rodney, his last name couldn’t be Skinner.
Also we learnt that our lectures for tomorrow, Introduction to Law, and our introduction to IT (or was it the Library? Not that it matters, as you soon will discover) were cancelled, because the University staff were going on strike. They were on strike today, and were giving out leaflets in front of the school. They earn £2,134, and believe that they should earn £4,000. The strike’s on for today and tomorrow, which is when most of the students will be enrolling in school. The Library’s closed. Guess it’s Strike Logic to hit where it hurts to the most, so that everyone will know how vital you are.
And the first day of Freshers’ Fortnight, for the lawyers, began today.
Little feels better than a hot bath after a cold night out. Managed, to my relief, to hitch a ride home on a cab with a Hall-mate and Hall-mate’s friend. Which is a relief when it’s 9pm in London, and you’re too many winding streets from where you’re supposed to be. Tonight was Pub Crawl night, and a girl whose name I cannot remember told me not to take this night as representative of Pub Crawl nights. There were some fifty of us Law students wandering Tottenham Court Road and its alleys once the sun set. I’ve tried Guinness, Carling, and Bailey’s Irish Cream, though only a mouthful of each, and from glasses that were not my own. (And no, they weren’t discarded – You don’t discard pints that cost £2.50 each – at least, I wouldn’t. You could buy broadband Internet time with that. . .) I have discovered that Guinness is exceedingly bitter, and was informed that in this particular beer’s case, the alcohol sinks to the bottom. I’ve discovered that shots exist in jelly form, and with 15% alcohol. I’ve discovered that it’s an excellent idea to wear your worst clothes to pub crawls of this scale, because by the time they’re through, your clothes might as well be smoke for the way they smell. Also, Carling tastes like Jolly Shandy, only with less bite, and it’s rather bland. After the 20th or so new person you’ve met in the I’ve-Lost-Count-By-Now Pub, trying to remember names is like trying to keep awake during lectures at university. Rather difficult, but some do it with ease. And I must tell you about THE FUNNEL. It’s a funnel attached to a long, black tubing, which is used to pour, one pint at a time, alcohol, down the throats of freshers who want to take up the challenge. By the time it was nine, one of the students had already done that thrice. I think he was sick on the second time, but I don’t believe it stopped him. Much wild cheering accompanies the accomplished feat. Much alcohol also finds its way to the floorboards.
And I think what has made any experience valuable/bearable to me is that somewhere within all this is something I can use. I walk home from a night where I can’t remember anybody’s name, through the cold, my clothes might as well/could be smoke for their scent, with the beginnings of a headache, and I think – this will make fic someday. Somewhere in any experience, no matter how unendurable, is something that can be used. So when I write of firestarters that carry the scent of smoke, or of the way drunken undergraduates try to open tuna cans with fire extinguishers at 1.10am in the morning, of how telling a man who won’t move out of your way to do something really rather impossible is never a good idea when he owns the pub you’re sitting in, or even of hobbits and pints in Bree – there’s something real that I can put into the words I’m writing. I think these thoughts came from reading Neil Gaiman’s The Wake, yesterday, sitting down in Waterstones’ on a step-stool. In it, Gaiman had Shakespeare talk to Dream about his son’s death. Shakespeare said, he grieved, but inside, he was rejoicing. Because now he had experienced real loss, real tragedy, and now he could go and write about it. I thought it was a lovely idea, and you can read it to say that there is something redeeming in even the worst experience of your life. Well, provided you survive it, of course.
I shall now use lyrics from a – yes, cringe – pop song, and I shall say that every step I take brings me one step closer to you, and every day that passes takes me closer to home. And sometimes thinking of the many steps that lie between here and you makes the tears threaten, so I think of something else instead. But it will not be long. And even as I write, it is one day less.
After which my neighbor proceeded to play extremely loud rap music from 11.30pm to 1.10am, and I remember because I was awake all that time. I did go over to tell him to turn it down at about 12.30pm, and he did - a little. Earlier I'd learnt that at 1.10am the night before, several drunken students on my floor had been wandering about trying to open a can of tuna with a fire extinguisher. And today I learnt that music is not the only thing on my floor that keeps people awake at night - a hall-mate on the same floor has been woken by the couple next door to him. Speculations are all correct.
All in all there is still more good than anything else. ^_^ Definitely. And at the moment, I have Internet access, and Livejournal, and that is worth a great deal of happiness. ^_^
*hugs all of you* You've been absolutely wonderful. There is nothing like a Livejournal-induced high, and I thank all of you for being a source of happiness in these times. ^_^