I feel like such a horrible person.
It’s probably nothing, really, but I promised myself that I would blog at least every second day, in order for me to not get lazy and to keep my writing mind active. I was planning on blogging last Friday evening, but then my Significant Other tells me he thinks we should drive somewhere the weekend. As in, let’s drive all the way somewhere far on Saturday, stay over for the night, and then take the long drive back the following day. Okay, let’s do that. This he decides around 9:30PM or thereabouts. We found a place to stay, made the four-hour trip over there, and I suppose I could get really nostalgic about this if I wanted to, but I want to blog about something else, so to put it shortly and sweetly: we got engaged that Saturday evening. But, again, I did not have access to the internet, as my laptop was at his flat, which is why I couldn’t blog on either Saturday or Sunday.
Now, this week I’ve been busy with my final week at university. I only have two classes this week. One was an online discussion yesterday, where I tapped my brain for original ideas and responses to other people’s essay abstracts. I felt like a theoretical/literary machine. Today we have our final poetry class, and then it’s almost time to say goodbye to my beloved university…
I’ve come to realize how, to a certain extent, I have become a sort of “teacher’s pet” in the department this year. This is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but I must admit that it does make me feel a bit bizarre. I’m a deadline freak. I admit that. I suppose that’s another way in which I am obsessive compulsive. I always hand things in way before a deadline; I bombard my lecturers with e-mails concerning classes, essays, deadlines, anything I feel might help me to not be a nervous wreck later in the semester. I’ve already handed in my Creative Writing portfolio, which is only due next Friday; I have finished an essay that is due on the 2nd of November, and I am currently busy with an essay that is due on the 6th of November (and I have already done my research and typed out the quotations I might possibly want to use)… All that said, I suppose it’s no wonder that they’ve all started talking about me.
Examples: I had a Creative Writing class with the South African writer Russel Brownlee last year. This year, he was one of the ‘lecturers’ in our Creative Writing elective. He knows me, so he constantly refers to me in class, to the type of work I’ve done, always asking my opinion or to read to the class what I have written… And we get along quite well. He even told me that he looks forward to seeing my name on a book someday (…him and me both…) The coordinator of our Creative Writing class, Shaun Viljoen, has also referred to me in class – when poet/writer Finuala Dowling showed up to do poetry with us, he told her that I had read some of her poetry. She, in turn, has been very impressed with my work, and has only suggested two or three changes in two of my poems. When a lady from Oxford University Press came to give a talk on the publishing industry, Annel Pieterse (who works in the department) told her that I was very interested in publishing, and that I want to work in that field… Then there’s Jeanne Ellis, an absolutely brilliant, lovely woman who taught me in my undergrad years, but with who I also had an elective at the beginning of this year (about the Victorian novel; out of all the texts we dealt with, Bleak House was my favourite). I’ve struck up a bit of a friendship with her, as she is so personable and sincere. I even bought her chocolates once and gave her a hand-made card (which I did in a kind of Victorian style, to match the elective we had)… I went to pay her a visit on Tuesday, and she actually told me how impressed the people in the department are with me. Apparently they were busy discussing me and how I am always asking questions and early with deadlines and working so hard and efficiently throughout the year that I have quite amazing time-management skills. Isn’t that interesting… Plus I had my research project done really early, way before everyone else (who all asked for extensions…)
I might not be at the top of the class, but my marks are pretty good, and I do try my utmost best to manage my time efficiently. It’s a way of easing my entire mindset into the ‘real world’ of work that awaits me next year. I know how to cope with deadlines; I can work on more than one project/essay at a time, and as soon as I get something to do, I go do research on it before I forget and then have to worry about it later. In that case, I don’t think it’s all that bad to be a sort of teacher’s pet… or departmental pet, if you want to put it that way… but really, to be honest, I think I would get annoyed with myself at times. How many e-mails and queries can one really take?
[This picture was taken last Halloween… hey, I was at home, and I had nothing better to do, so why not dress up like a cat?? Although, I must admit, I also did that in my first year at university… the only difference is, I went to write a history exam like that…]