Saturday, 9 July 2011

College - Week 9...

This Monday saw the beginning of the audio taping of our counselling role-play sessions. I was hugely thankful that I’d opted to be the last person going through the anxiety of playing counsellor, and I’m rather hoping that the sessions that I’m currently observing will help me to function when I take centre stage.

By way of a change from the usual jacket and beans, my vegetarian banquet today was rice with a selection of vegetables. This went down rather well, but my subsequently bloated stomach made me wish I‘d chosen slightly slacker jeans.

Bereavement was never going to be an easy topic to cover, and the afternoon session drained me both emotionally and physically. Watching your friends burst into tears, while you’ve already got a lump in your throat the size of an apple, is hugely unsettling.

A stressful day of counselling followed by all four core studies in one day. What a joy….

I.T. required just a basic knowledge of e-mail, which meant that most of this particular lesson was dedicated to much-needed compassionate conversations with my co-counsellors. The opportunity to play is always a welcome distraction, and silly messages went flying electronically back and forth throughout the lesson.

Numeracy was thrust upon us at a surprisingly frantic pace, and it was all I could do to keep up. Percentages is something that I personally would rather have taken a little more time over during class, mostly due to the fact that I’m now burdened with an entire worksheet to complete at home without the luxury of having the methodology fresh in my mind, or a tutor on hand for those awful 'stuck' bits.

The theory behind this brain-busting class, was to enable us to end our numeracy classes two weeks ahead of schedule, but the idea of spending two consecutive Tuesdays, in late December, twiddling my thumbs from the end of I.T. at 11am until the beginning of study skills at 1pm, is not, in my opinion, something that I shall necessarily look forward to.

I was still feeling distinctly below par during lunch, probably being weighed down by the misery of the impending study skills group project, followed by part two of the hideous writing skills assignment.

Another afternoon was wasted, mooching around the library, staring blankly at the spines of books for some sign of inspiration. It didn’t appear, so I cut my losses and comforted myself with a coffee and some shortbread biscuits instead. This didn’t particularly assist me with my research into screen violence, but at least I did feel slightly better afterwards.

On campus there’s a distinct lack of anywhere nice for mature students to escape to in order to wallow in self-pity, away from hormonally challenged teenagers. Today, I felt that I could really have benefited from a quiet place to hide, where I could be amongst fellow core-studies-sufferers.

It seems very unfair that rent-a-yob has somewhere hip and funky to gather, and yet we more civilised creatures are condemned to wandering the cold, dark corridors of the college.

Wednesday at 9.15am I arrived for my previously well-documented hair appointment. I felt it only fair to warn my tentative trainee that my hair is substantially thicker than it first appears.

The first of the brightly coloured foils made an appearance at 10.20am, and by 12.20pm there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. By this point, my head looked as if I was wearing the contents of a tin of Quality Street, and I was praying that the fire alarm wouldn’t sound.

Two cups of tea later, and my foils were out, hair washed and my student was merrily slicing off an inch or two of split ends. Hunger pangs had started to appear by now, and my rear end had been quite numb for several hours, but vanity is never without a price.

By 3pm the blow-drying was finally complete…but there was a slight problem. Of course there was!  One small, but painfully obvious, section of my locks had turned a nasty shade of orange, for reasons unknown, and there was no alternative than to have another single foil put in place with a strong dose of colour smothering it.

The next 30 minutes seemed to last a lifetime as I waited for the new colour to take a hold. My poor student looked worse for wear, having been on her feet since I arrived with not so much as a sip of water inside her.

The correction thankfully worked, and I walked out of the door at 3.45pm precisely. Hopefully, the next appointment will only require my roots coloured, which will allegedly take just a fraction of the time.

Thursday saw a repeat of the brolly and bus sketch. Families and households was welcome light relief from screen violence and bereavements, and even our new assignment of compiling a questionnaire didn’t appear to intimidate me. 

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