...that’s because I’ve been busy learning new stuff.
Did I tell you that I’m a student again?
Well I am. AND I LOVE IT.
The last time I did any sort of studying was way back in the last millennium and I was at the Institute of Education doing my PGCE. And before that I was in lovely lovely Aberystwyth doing my BA in English Literature.
Back then I looked like this:
[Incidentally, there’s no date on that NUS card because I artfully tried to ‘adjust it’ so that I could continue enjoying the perks of a student railcard for a little longer. As you can see, my plan was flawed. Between the lumpy Tippex and the lack of any forgery skills, my hopes at extending my student status vanished pretty fast.]
These days, my NUS card is less shabby but the woman in the photo looks quite a bit more tired. On the plus side, I have remembered to comb my hair.
But my NUS card isn’t the only thing that’s changed. I’m working harder than I did first time round. Maybe it’s because I’m a proper grownup this time. Maybe it’s because I’m paying for the privilege. Or maybe I’ve just got fewer distractions than I had before. Anyway, I’m learning stuff all over again and I love it. And I feel very lucky and fortunate to be able to do this. For the last seventeen years, I’ve been on the other side of the desk. And I suppose I reached a point where I could recite the whole of ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Othello’ or ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ or ‘Of Mice and Men’ without actually needing to read from the page. Which is great because I love those books. But... well... it’s good to shake things up a bit.
So I’m learning new things about America and American Literature and I’m meeting new people and making new friends and I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a student again. And I’m so thankful that I have that opportunity.
Seeing as it’s America I’m studying, I’ll (almost) leave the last words to an American – Henry Ford. Now I don’t necessarily agree with Henry on his ideas about production line labour but his thoughts on education seem spot on to me. Here they are:
‘Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.’
By the way, just because I’ve gone back to skool doesn’t mean I’ve given up on writing the teen fiction (and non-fiction).
I MOST CERTAINLY HAVE NOT!
I’ve been working on some finishing touches to ‘Sophie Someone’ and ‘Being a Girl’ – both out next year and now I’m at the MULLING OVER NEW IDEAS STAGE. Actually the very last words can go to another American - albeit an Austrian-born one.*
*Definitely no freaking guns though.