I haven’t been here in a while and it is not due to lack of wanting but lack of time. We are nearing the end of the teaching year here in England – there will be a few more weeks of teaching, and I will most likely be marking non-stop till the end of May, but I can see the end. While the end of this, my first teaching year here, is most welcome in the sense that this year has been simply nuts in terms of workload, I am genuinely sad at the thought of not seeing my students each week. It’s almost cliché to say it, but I like them – I like them as people, I like them even when they frustrate me, and I like encountering other minds encountering texts I know and love for the first time.
So it seems appropriate to me to visit this space on World Poetry Day, which is today, and bombard you with words I love just as I feel I have been bombarded this year with so many things I love, yet so much pain and homesickness and adjusting to a new life. I want to write more and perhaps in a few months when things settle down and the university is quiet and the students have left for their summer holiday, the writing will once again dominate my life as teaching has dominated it for the past few months. But I find I like this ‘domination’. I always thought of myself as a person who loves order and who feels overwhelmed by chaos. I always thought that people exhaust me too much simply because I am shy and introverted. But this year, I feel that despite the stress, I have found a purpose, and I have sometimes enjoyed the exhaustion for what it is rather than fighting against it.
So here’s to words and more words, and to students and more students.
P.S. I have passed my probation period and am now a permanent member of staff at my university. This still seems like fiction, like a fantasy. Perhaps typing it out will make it seem real. I often return to this photo and stare at it early in the morning to convince myself of my new reality:
P.P.S I have nearly been in England for a year, can you believe it?