Saturday, 23 March 2013

Academic Amnesia

It was the last taught module of my MA this week, after Easter we enter the strange ground of talks, events and sporadic tutorials, and the serious business of writing up a dissertation. I'm not worried about the quantity of creative work, but I am worried about the quality and the resonance and punch of my accompanying critical essay. It's time to break out of the academic amnesia and get some serious writing done, kick start those neuron pathways that are dormant on the discontinued line.

I'll miss the MA, the once a week toe dip into the academic world. The last two modules have taken place in leased rooms off the Grays Inn Road, a modern steel and glass space. This week I discovered a green space behind the building that I hadn't noticed before, an elegant park sat behind a graceful London Plane. On closer inspection the wide paths bend around tombstones of lichen clad grey. I can't see the church from the window, but I can dee a tall white crane that digs the space next to the park. I wonder if they discovered any bodies in their excavations.

Westminster Kingsway is less ivory tower, more night school, populated by exuberant youth that literally bounce off the walls. Their conversation is sparky, loud and combative, in a style that implied they were always looking for a fight.

Overheard in the Ladies Loos:

"She's just jealous girl"
"She said don't speak to me, I don't need to speak to her, I don' know her"
"You left me a message, you can't assume I've read it man?"

On the tube there is silence, no conversation, all plugged in and non-communicative. The college foyer is like a Friday night in Liverpool, just after the Irish centre closed its doors and the occupants spilled onto the streets and mounted the top deck of the last night bus, loudly singing rebel songs. There's the same volume, the same energy, the same voices competing to be heard, physically, not electronically, shouting into the cold air.

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