Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Perpetual student

I just can’t seem to forego a year without some form of study. Already this year, I’ve learnt how to save a life. This could be a great dinner party trick, particularly if I wish to save girls from evil step-mothers, ala, Snow White. The Prince is no longer charged with dislodging the piece of apple with a kiss, I'll simply use the Heimlich maneuver. I can finally drive, but I have no need for CD’s with car tunes just yet, and it’ll be another 8 months before I can hire. I’ll have to find a Thelma for my Louise to go driving with. I can't avoid being so square: certain times of the year are very dangerous for me, I run the risk of committing to various programmes of further study, as if I haven’t done enough already. It clearly coincides with the start of university terms; I tend to gaze lovingly at university programmes annually. It’s as powerful as a new moon on the tides of the sea, willing the motion of the waves in peaks towards the sky. Wouldn’t a PHD in quantum physics be useful? Or, I could learn how to create software platforms, a course on creative writing is probably more of interest, or Irish theatre, the history of wars, the list could be endless. I can’t really explain why I’ve caught this bug, I’ve even listened to all of David Starkey’s history programmes on 4OD, whilst working from home. But then, I don’t just think about experiences to learn on some course or another. I’m equally susceptible to the idea of signing up to an NGO in Outer Mongolia, or somewhere equally unfamiliar to most travellers. I recently watched the motor cycle diaries, and the desire to do something humanitarian in the middle of nowhere, captured my imagination. It would be somewhat different from my little volunteer job at an Oxfam shop when I was a teenager, but then giving up half a Saturday is fairly generous for most teenagers. It was one of my favourite jobs, I didn’t have to be there for a start, and if I felt like calling in sick, I could. It wasn’t like the manager of the shop, a volunteer herself, would tell me to never come back. Yet, I never did, I didn’t wish to let the team down; besides, I was left alone to talk to all the old people and listen to radio one. I also had the pick of the new items which came into the shop, learned how to save some money too. I still have an Oxfam teddy bear I paid for, even though I didn’t have to. I could travel, just like the rest of generation X, clad with big walking boots, a back-pack and a flower skirt, on some eternal quest for what’s ‘real’. Yet, I'd be simultaneously side-lined by the foreign city pub-crawl and a cute boy. Or romantically be Brian Wilson’s, ‘surfer girl’, just taking each day at a time, and dossing about on some beach, physically active, sea-salted like a KP nut. It could be considerably more worthwhile than anything taught on a course. I’d be better encouraged to be fluent in German, if I had a German Mann to share the lingua with. Or continue with my path to be a good singer until one day, I might be performing, even if only for fun. I could dance away my days getting vertically active with Tango and a man good enough to lead me.

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