Two weeks have passed. Things have happened.



Sometimes, writing is really hard. I haven't posted an entry here last week, even though I'd meant to – and still mean to – write something worthwhile every week. I felt somewhat excused last weekend, because Saturday was strange and stupid and Sunday was good weather and there wasn't any time for writing in between those two. This week, I have no excuse – I might even say, again, since last week's excuse is not really tenable – but somehow, the words don't seem to flow as they should. There's certainly no shortage of good things to report, however. In fact, there are quite a few new and exciting things going on!

I have finally managed to get hold of a UK bank account, for one, after having explored just about every possible avenue of failure in this regard. Not only does this mean I can stop hoarding wads of cash to avoid high withdrawal fees, it also means that I have at last been able to cash in on that blog competition prize.

Said competition has also given rise to another, rather more exciting development. Back in September, Michelle of the Student Recruitment Services had asked me to consider being a mature students' ambassador, as apparently, my blog was getting a lot of attention in the SRS office. It sounded interesting, and I did want to pass some of that wonderful vibe from Freshers' Week on to other prospective students, so I said I'd think about it. The next day, I was on my way to Japan, and the thought got pushed back into a stuffy corner of my mind. I probably would not have acted on it had it not been wakened again by a job advertisement for (general) student ambassadors last week. I have yet to hear whether my application was successful, and have obviously therefore not had any training. However, thanks to being in touch with Michelle, I do already have my first event coming up.

In less than two weeks, I'll be answering eager questions by prospective mature students, and I might do a campus tour as well, if the numbers call for it. I'm very excited. Surprisingly, however, I'm not in the least nervous. Only half a year ago, I wouldn't have wanted to even apply for this kind of job, and I certainly would've been very concerned about putting myself in front of dozens of strangers to answer their questions or guide them around. Now, I'm unphased, even excited about it. What has happened with me? I can't even claim it's just about the specific job...

Last week, I volunteered, yes volunteered, without any need at all, to do a short presentation in one of my seminars. Worse, although I'd promised myself to rehearse for the next presentation, I did not – rather, I read the paper I was presenting more than a week ahead of time, then threw together a few powerpoint slides in the lecture just before the seminar. Then, instead of being nervous or simply retreating and not doing the presentation, as I would certainly have previously, my biggest worry was that I'd forgotten to refill my bottle of water. Obviously, it could've been a better presentation with a little more preparation, but I've done far worse. Confidence, both about the subject and about myself, helped enormously.

I am rather puzzled, though. Somehow, and I really don't know how, I seem to have overcome some of my worst anxieties. I participated in a confidence workshop a few weeks back, but I haven't consciously applied any of the methods presented there – in fact, I haven't even looked at any of the extra material. I still consider myself shy, and I certainly am as quiet and introverted as ever. But something is different, some doors that seemed tightly locked shut are suddenly ajar. On the one hand, I welcome the change, embrace the openness and am delighted to see where it might take me. On the other hand, it's so unlike my self-image that I cannot help but wonder, what else have I been wrong about for the best part of my life?

... or what have I just never considered? Apparently, not everybody pictures the year as an irregular circle with a very specific orientation and viewing angle. Apparently, not everybody visualises dates within roughly 150 years of the present moment as signposts among a very definitely three-dimensional band of time. Apparently, it's rather unusual to conceive of numbers as being on a similar band, stretching up and away in a specific arrangement. Apparently, having these representations makes me a synesthete. I am now officially one of those countless undergraduates that make up the main body of many a psychology study – in this case, a study on synesthesia.

In other, choir-related news, we'll be singing carols at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony this Friday (30 Nov) at 4pm on Library Square. A week later, on Sunday 9 December, we'll sing (other) carols at the Meeting House carol service, and will hopefully set nobody on fire with our candles.

Anyway, that should be enough news to appease both my own conscience and, hopefully, you, and so I shall leave you,

Until next time,


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