One week down. 70-odd to go.
I’m trying not to think about the next 70 weeks of Uni, i.e, the next 3 years until I finish the degree. I’m taking it one day at a time, really quite literally. It’s only if I start to think about the readings and essays and oral presentations that I will have to do in the coming weeks that I start to get fidgety. My heart starts to race, and my palms to sweat, and I begin to doubt that I can actually do this. Narrowing my focus to what I have to do tomorrow, and only tomorrow, is making everything feel manageable.
I’ve surprised myself with how not-anxious I’ve been feeling in general. Walking to and from class, through throngs of people, is difficult. But not excessively so. I don’t avoid it, my usual response to an anxiety inducing task. I just steel myself and dive into the river of people, not looking up until I reach my destination.
Lectures have been good, I’ve already learnt a lot, and I’m well ahead in my readings, and although it’s possible that enthusiasm will wear off, I’m hoping that it doesn’t. The most stressful thing for me is deciding where to sit. I don’t want people to have to walk past me, and I certainly don’t want to have to squeeze past anybody else. I know that might sound like a silly thing to stress about, but it’s that kind of small thing that consumes me. I just get to class early and sit right on the end of a row, against a wall.
I’m been spending much of my time on campus reading in the library cafe. The UWA library is fabulous; not to mention the piles of books I wish to devour, it quite literally has a moat! To get to the cafe you have to go up some stairs, and then back down to ground level next to the moat. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned here before, but I’m quite a keen birdwatcher, so having a body of water next to where I’m sitting is quite the distraction! Two different species of ducks, night herons, and one lonely cormorant frequent the waters. It also overlooks an expanse of grass surrounded by large trees, so I also see Willie wagtails, magpie-larks, wattlebirds, magpies, lorikeets, parrots, kookaburras, seagulls, and cockatoos, all while I’m sitting in the sunshine trying to digest what was the French Revolution.
Sound like bliss?
Well, it is!
I named the cormorant Denis, and I was lucky enough to witness him snare some dinner. Cormorants can dive under the water for quite a long time, and when he popped up he had a little yabby (a small Aussie crayfish) tightly clasped in his bill! He carefully flipped it around, a loud crunch with each twist a sure sign of the poor yabby’s demise. Then, once satisfied the yabby was truly dead, he gulped it up in a single toss of the head.
I hope I will be spending many more afternoons with Denis!