Saturday, June 25, 2011

first semester: BOOM.

it's honestly amazing how fast time flies.

i remember my first day of Grade 1, walking up those steep black stairs, sitting on the carpet next to my friend Natasha and proudly proclaiming, "i'm still five!". i remember my awful handwriting, "Charlotte's Web", writing collective stories as a class.

i remember the escapades of Grade 2 - creating masterpieces in the Minor Hall, Annabelle "losing" her pencil after putting it behind her ear, and having the world's greatest desire to be a dolphin trainer.

i remember Grade 3's dramas - storytelling for the Speech and Drama Festival, viciously yanking lantana from the fence which ran between our playground and the forest, and rolling our "table" - a big concrete slab - from the far end of the field to our corner beneath the banana trees.

and so each year goes - another grade, another volley of memories. i started at a new school; i finished there. i began high school - lost some friends, made new ones, grew taller, grew older, grew up. i finished high school. and just the other day, i could swear i began varsity.

i clearly remember it: all the ferocious packing, the bare room, the long car ride. i remember the knot that made itself at home in my gut while i stood in line, bedraggled from a ten-hour trip; sat for fingerprints, made nervous jokes, got my photo taken. i remember being terrified to talk to people, closing myself up in my res room when i heard voices down the corridor; subsequently meeting my beautiful neighbour, and then meeting the other girls that would wind up being some of my very best friends.

okay, so maybe i'm exaggerating. it hasn't really been THAT long. it's the end of June now; i began university in the first week of February. a total of five months have gone by. but i still can't believe that a whole semester is over; i still can't get that half of my first year has already passed.

so what did i do in the first half of my first year, i hear you ask? well, i:

a) made some amazing friends
no, but srsly. see these beauts? legends, each and every one :)

in particular...
me and my Pamalam... and my Robyn (aka Batman)...

...and me and my Sarah Bear :)

b) went on my first date
...of which i have no photos but some very precious memories. and we can leave it at that.

c) fell in love with John Keats
i don't have any photos with him, either. SAD FACE! but for real... please go read "Ode To A Nightingale" if you haven't already. and then go read all of the letters he ever wrote to his love Fanny Brawne. and tell me that you do not love him, too, after doing that.

d) read several phenomenal books
...the three main ones of which were:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
um, hello. why have i never read this book before? oh, the shame! i am hiding my head under a rock. anyway, Jane Eyre was our prescribed novel for English I this semester, and so i picked it up and read, not really knowing what to expect. love love loved every bit of it. love Jane, love Mr Rochester; love Helen Burns, and Diana and Mary, and even St John and Adele, in their own special ways.
"I was mortally afraid of its trampling fore-feet"  Illustration by F.H. Townsend (1896)
"You are altogether a human being, Jane?  You are certain of that?"  Illustration by F.H. Townsend (1896)

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
once again, a book i should've read before and that was recommended to me ages ago (by the lovely Lauren, if you don't already know her) has FINALLY been read! and wow, Ender's Game is some serious stuff. it made me think, question, laugh, cry, shout, facepalm... really. if you could choose any book in the world right now that you'd want to read, it should be this one :)

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
i started this book just under a year ago, when i picked it up in San Francisco at a little shop called Forest Books. with one thing and another, i never got around to reading past the 7th chapter, and finally i decided to pick it back up again about a month ago. what a phenomenal read! i simply love Maya Angelou's turn of phrase and her beautiful way of describing everything she recalls from her childhood. please please please humour me if you haven't read it before, and give it a shot. you won't be disappointed :)

e) shaved my hair off (we've discussed this before, i'm sure of it... ;) )

f) discovered some incredible new music
...such as The Civil Wars and Sleeping At Last. go listen to "To Whom It May Concern", "Poison & Wine", "My Father's Father", "Side By Side" and "Pacific Blues". just do it. then report back. okay? GO!

g) bonded with Steers
...since dining hall food can be slightly off-putting at times :)
oh chicken burger, how do i love thee? let me count the ways...

h) learnt to adore Grahamstown
...which i now honestly believe is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. never before have i seen skies like Grahamstown's! they make up for the moody weather, i'd say ;) this was from outside my res.

i) was visited by my beautiful friend Rachel
...who came all the way from Canada just to see me! and this is the only photo we took together while she was here. epic fail.

j) found home at Frontiers
...which is the church i worship at each Sunday. i am so blessed by and grateful for this new family i have found :)

k) was adopted by a cat
...whom i have named Honey. (she has named me "Slave", in case you were wondering.) i actually haven't seen her in ages - she lives around a particular spot on campus, but the last few times i've been down around that area, she's been AWOL. sad face! i love me some Honey :)

l) read with the lovely Amanda a part of the Paired Reading Programme which i'm involved with through the Inkwenkwezi Society at Rhodes, which basically aims to help underprivileged kids with their education. my Amanda, with whom i read, is a sweetheart of note... i love her to pieces and miss her greatly.

m) came to understand the importance of junk food
...that is, if you consider peanut butter to be a form of junk food. (i won't contest NikNaks and condensed milk. those are undisputedly in the "junk food" category.) yes... these treats are totally what i snack on when i'm hungry. i'm such a health boffin ;)

n) took part in a couple protests
...both of which protested sexual violence and rape (one protesting this type of treatment against women, the other protesting the same thing against men), both of which were powerful and affirming and showed me just how far we still have to go as a society.

o) adored each and every one of my classes
...which are, in case you're interested, Journalism, Drama, English and Xhosa. yes, they're tons of work... but they are fantastic and engaging and full of open-minded students who question and debate and are generally awesome :)

and that has been my year so far! i honestly still can't believe that it's already the 25th of June (SIX MONTHS TILL CHRISTMAS, Y'ALL!) ... oh, how time flies :) what have YOU been up to in the last five months, lovelies?

1 comment:

Judy said...

han! this blog post is amazing. it makes me want to visit you in GTown all the more! thanks for sharing.

and how long has it been since I've visited this blog?? love the headliner, it's beautiful :)

and you are beautiful too! :D