Month: March 2018

Epiphany.

Until researching it, I was never sure why the second term at Durham is called Epiphany, but, despite it often being cited as the more ‘settled down’ phase of one’s first year at university, this academic term afforded many small epiphanies and realisations. To approach the second term with a sense of trepidation seems quite a stereotypical pastime of the university student, what with all the assignments that had been completed over Christmas (or final week thereof) that need handing in, and a feeling of uncertainty associated with not-yet-solidified friendships. Upon my return, I quickly replaced my illusion that people had somehow stuck around consolidating relationships over Christmas with the relieving reality that, since the final day of the first term, life in Durham had been placed on hold. I quickly learned that first term is the time and place to be friendly to a fault and act almost too interested in everything for your own good; it’s all about asserting and introducing yourself to as many people as possible. Second term offers little alternative …

Watching paint dry.

My primary-school art teacher liked to catch me deep in thought – to pluck me from oddly distracted moods on a weekly basis, always by exclaiming, “Elisabet! Are you watching paint dry?”. At the time, this would irritate me deeply. I knew she didn’t think me an idle pupil for I poured myself into the tasks we were set and I always looked forward to our two-hour classes. Yet her voice always caught me by surprise. Now that I am older (and, hopefully, wiser), I can finally say I think I know what she meant. Granted, she was telling me to get up and do something useful – scrub my paintbrushes with soapy hot water, flick through the Matisse book at the back of the room, draw something else inspired by previous years’ work on the walls; but I like to believe that she was communicating a deeper something, teaching me a little life lesson about creativity that has started making more sense as I’ve grown up. It was as if she was saying, “Do anything but nothing. Be …