Thursday, December 06, 2007

On being a fourth year…

Rather unsurprisingly, it has been a whole Cambridge term since I last wrote here (only two more to go!). It's been a long, busy one–but also one of the most fun. Where to begin? My grown-up fourth yearness might have to spill over into more than one post I think!
Work wise, term has been relentless, starting with the panic that accompanied the part II oral exam followed reasonably closely by the project deadline, all muddled up with a good dose of the start of new courses. It settled into that lovely 2 or 3 essays a week rhythm, where it sat for the rest of term fully ensuring I feel less ready than I might to write my dissertation over this vacation (which must be done). That said, all papers and suchlike are proving interesting and I seem to understand most of the complex psychoanalytical theory that now accompanies them so all well so far. Choir has been going well…if a little dull at times (particularly the last couple of days learning a whole load of new music for a recording after xmas…).We're losing our dean of chapel now and getting a retired bishop to replace him for the next two terms, which will be superb. Meanwhile this last term I've been serving in Trinity chapel on Sunday mornings a few times, it's been nice to get back into serving a bit and getting out of the Selwyn bubble a bit more than usual (plus, they do sing quite well there…;-) ).
Of course the most remarkable thing about this term has been going back to university life after so long "outside the bubble". At first it seemed very strange indeed, we linguists were keen to get back into doing something a little more intellectual, after quite a decent break from the pressures of tripos…but we weren't quite so sure about the whole collegiate bubble. Coming back early to face exams wasn't a great way of breaking us into it, and it was daunting seeing the number of unfamiliar faces around college-really did feel like we shouldn't be there any more! Yet once we'd got into the fourth year mould, things got off to a really much better start. I went and pretended to be a fresher (rather successfully!)for the usual first night in the bar…and managed to meet quite a lot of second and third years, which was great! Also met lots of linguists in that first week, and one of them very aptly observed much later in term that the fourth year linguists (or the "F" crew as we are sometimes known now) have this wonderful laid back "je ne sais quoi" aura about us, and it really is quite true: despite having a lot of work, we seem to manage to care an awful lot less about it–no, that's not fair– to *stress* an awful lot less about it, than we did in second year. It's work we have to do, and we do it…and then we get on with life as best we can. We've had some lovely girly friday evenings with a bottle of wine, and although we've also been working hard, we've had time to get to know this year's college community a bit, in our new role as great-grandmothers. It's been tiring, it's been hard work, it's felt very very strange at times–but it's been a very good term, and culminated in what I think was the best snowball of my selwyn career, so I am enjoying fourth year. Let's see what the rest of it brings along…
I'm off to Lyon on Saturday morning to experience this year's fete des lumieres, and see some friends and colleagues from last year. I can't wait! More updates will follow I'm sure…

1 comment:

GEORGE said...

It's nice to read you again lovely :)