17th October 2012
Today I became totally overwhelmed… It started fine; I got up, had breakfast, did some work on a story, got in the car… and then things slowly started to go pear-shaped.
Firstly the weather was terrible, not a problem in itself until the branch that had, up to that moment, been hanging around on a tree, broke off and plummeted to my windscreen! Dramatic huh? plummeted… Which of course it did and scared the living daylights out of me but it wasn’t life threatening and apart from a quick swerve, small scream and a pump of the brakes I was fine. Luckily I had taken the 4×4 into uni and all was well, the tank didn’t even blink at the missile being hurled at it.
So I’m shaky before the lesson starts, but I know that the story I had written wasn’t too bad – a short on Picasso and the Weeping Woman. And it wasn’t. It needs work and expansion but it is a decent concept and interesting. Then others start reading theirs and I feel a cloud of depression drift over. In one story there were 6 words I didn’t understand… My little electric dictionary was working at light speed, honestly there was smoke! But I kept up and no one really noticed that much, or if they did they didn’t comment, unless they though I was texting someone. Oh! I hope not!
In the afternoon session a new guy started and I thought great… our class is only 5 and an extra body helps discussion work. The first sentence he said in class was … well it was good cause the lecturer nodded and everyone else did the ‘i agree’ mumble but it shot straight over my head.
But it wasn’t a whole loss and just because I felt overwhelmed I tried not to show it. I may not have contributed much to the lesson but I did make notes and since then have been working everything out, and I now not only know what was being talked about but I understand it. Whew! What a rant!
The lecture was given by a very nice lady – Jeni Williams who coped admirably with my lack of knowledge. Honestly we were working on characterisation and every book… I mean every book she had used I hadn’t read. From Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility (only seen the movie adaptation) to Iain Bank’s The Wasps Factory I was stumped. Luckily she had included extracts so I was able to analyse these and work that way but I felt very much out of my depth by the end of the lesson.
So I went home and sulked. No really… I am ashamed to say that I sulked and ate chocolate… all night.
Next day I started to pull myself together. I went to see my dyslexic tutor and she helped proof read one story and help me get organised. Or rather sat and listened as I talked myself into a more organised position. The support services at Trinity are really good.
Then I set about advancing my knowledge base… Not easy I know when although you can read okay the more complicated the text the slower you get. Thank goodness for audio books! I am half way though the Wasp Factory and if you can get a copy – read it! It’s fantastic and a perfect example of how to make an extreme character likeable. I mean I am rooting for Frank with every step he takes and yet so far he’s blow up a rabbit, killed two cousins and his own brother. How did the author do that?
I’ve also ordered Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker which is written in the authors version of a postapocalyptic language which is really easy to read if you have a dyslexic problem because it is phonetic… So woak = woke and nite = night and one of my favourites noatis = notice. Brilliant! Anyway that book should arrive tomorrow so I should be deep into an American wasteland by Sunday.
I have decided though that I will not allow myself to get depressed again. I may not have the grounding in the books and terminology but I am determined to do it. When I forget that I feel as if I am catching up all the time then I actually enjoy my course – a lot.
A big thank you to Jeni though for including a great book list. Now all I need to know is which I will listen to and which I will read…. Decisions, decisions!