It’s A Hard Life, Being a Student…

studentIt truly is.

Especially the evening lectures, when The Teenager cranks up the guilt:

Can you bring me back some sweets?
Nope, there’s carrot sticks in the fridge.
Can you bring me back a drink?
Nope, there’s Council Pop in the tap.
I need help with my homework.
Welsh isn’t one of my languages.
I’m calling Childline.

And with that, he strops off upstairs and turns his music up. When I get back later, he’s slumped on the sofa chucking the carrot sticks at re-runs of Countdown.

Anyway, apart from that, it’s the essays that are my main challenge right now. I had imagined, when signing up for a Masters in Creative Writing, I would be stumbling around in artistically-put-together clothes (garments?), staring at the clouds then scribbling long words and my meaningful impressions of life in a shiny new notebook.

There were two problems with this. First, MS brain has reduced my observations to, ‘the clouds were pink. And white. And a little bit fluffy’. And, ‘the cat ran away. And then came back.’

Second, I hadn’t expected to write essays about writing essays. I had no idea there were so many theories and ‘-isms’ in writing. I am currently staring at a stack of books about ethnography as a research method. Out of the eight books, I have found five quotes, and two of them say pretty much the same thing.

The university library is a scary place, full of very young intelligent-looking people. And it’s very, very quiet. They can hear me scanning and dropping my piles of books a mile away. The machine hates me and the librarians at the desk tut.

I also have to write a portfolio of short stories by the end of December. This is going ok, but I seem to be writing very dark stuff. Ho hum. No idea why. But, as with everything over the last three years, I am nothing if not determined. My putty brain is being stretched to capacity. And I have decided to, gulp, publish the last two years of my blog as a book. At least I can then call myself a writer/author/deluded. I think.

I told The Teenager about my grand literary plans and he stared at me aghast. However, he quickly recovered and suggested ideas for new blog posts I could write about him. I interrupted him and told him the blog wasn’t fiction. He muttered something under his breath in Welsh, swiped the last scone and disappeared.

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20 thoughts on “It’s A Hard Life, Being a Student…

  1. tony cardis says:

    You will do it because we all know that determination is in you, good luck. I’m training to be a Samaritan a million miles away from my old job. Like you I look forward to it

  2. I’ve got the same plan, become a famous well known author by publishing my posts. I’m sure we’ll both be in the same branch of Waterstones autographing our books to enthusiastic punters who camped out overnight. Hohum, I think not but an exciting idea

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I think you’re right!
      And, I haven’t forgotten your post – just can’t seem to cut and paste on this computer I borrowed from Uni :-(. My new computer is arriving tomorrow, so fingers crossed!
      As for your blog, it is fabulous. Does Penarth have a Waterstone’s? If not, will meet you in Cardiff where we can sign our books together!

  3. Tricia says:

    Cannot wait to own your book, will you please sign for me, you can have a book signing in Cardiff. X

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Aw, thank you! I’m looking forward to getting it collated and published. Was reading a great article about self-publishing so thought I would give myself a kick and finally do it! I will no doubt be number 1000,000 on Amazon for years, lol.
      My blog truly has been a lifesaver over the years and if I can just help one other person with it, it’s all been worth it!

  4. its a great idea to publish your blog 😀 its a wonderful insight into how MS effects a person and those around them 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s such a lovely thing to say, thank you! It’s definitely my aim. Maybe when people are first diagnosed, the last thing they want to do is scroll through a blog. Hopefully, if it’s in one place, it could give them support, that things WILL get better!

      • exactly! putting it all in one place makes it easier to read rather than scroll through. they are all kinds of autobiography books out there for different topics, there should be more for MS, and other uncommon disease to try to put a persons mind at ease

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Definitely! I’m really, really excited about this! I know there are some pre-diagnosis people who look through the whole blog and maybe it’d be easier to have it in a physical book or e-book format. That’s my goal! Plus, there’s a definite journey in the blog, from utter despair to acceptance.
          I told The Teenager I would dedicate it to him…

  5. Archie says:

    well you have a reason for THE FOG. I regularly scan me brayn for the simplest words and terms and end up asking the person I’m instructing to just go and “you know.. that erm.. aww… jeez..” “empty the vax sacs?” “yes! them things!” grrrr. come on son we can get through this together!

    My boss occasionally calls me a malteser (and had to look up how to spell that too AAAAARRRRGH!)

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