This year I enrolled at university and I have recently completed my first subject.
I had pictured the return to studies as a fulfilling and affirming experience. With my mind challenged by erudite and intellectual discussions, I was going to take the academic world by storm and prove, if only to myself, that after 12 years as a stay-at-home mum I was still on the ball and at the top of my game.
Instead of the idyllic scenario above, I found myself slowly descending through the many levels of Hell as I tried to decipher a totally incomprehensible text book and find something that I could relate to in the lecture notes and forum discussions.
I passed my first essay (just). I rallied somewhat with assignment two – a 14 question quiz (my score was 12/14) and I’m still waiting on the results for the 2000 word final assignment which I affectionately dubbed That Stupid Essay of Which We Shall Never Speak Again.
Yep. My first semester at uni was a real eye opener.
I like to think that I’m an intelligent woman* and the fact that I found the subject I was studying so totally beyond my ability to comprehend was a great shock to me. I found myself wondering whether I had made the right decision to return to tertiary studies and seriously considered throwing in the towel (and then burning the text book).
The saddest moment by far was the point when I acknowledged that I would be happy (well, ecstatic in fact) if I could simply pass the subject. I was no longer aiming for a HD with flashing lights and sparkles. A simple pass would fill me with joy. It’s not really in my nature to aim for average, so this was a major concession. (My final essay mark is still pending, so I still have my fingers crossed for that pass).
I’ve just started my second subject. A first year Australian Studies subject at Griffith Uni which I am really enjoying. The course notes and forum discussions are interesting and I am actually interested in and learning from what I am studying. Such a pleasant change to the past 3 months.
Before moving on with my new subject, I think that I need to make a clean break with my past:
Dear Cultural Studies,
As much as social convention dictates that I tell you it wasn’t you, it was me, the fact is that the failure of our relationship was all your fault. I’ve found someone new. Someone that doesn’t delight in confusing me and making me feel intellectually inferior. I wish you well, but I have to say that if I don’t hear the word ‘discourse’ again for the rest of my life, I will die happy.
Bring on Semester 2.
* I also believe that chocolate is a health food (it contains vegetables (cacao) and dairy so it must be good for you) and that somewhere there is a housework fairy who has my name on her ToDo list, so my opinion might not be entirely reliable.by