By Vick Jones
Its quiet, its cold, the windows have condensation on them. You can feel the autumnal force of a summer almost forgotten. You count to three and make yourself get out of bed…and then it begins. Get the children up, get them dressed, sort their breakfast, make their lunches, walk the dog, feed the cat, cling with desperation to your lukewarm cup of tea and don’t forget their school bags. Again.
You’re lucky, you live in a beautiful town, it’s quiet, although everyone is nosy, it’s idyllic, you can hear the sheep, you can feel the air, you can breathe it in. A world of pleasant contemplation amidst your whirlwind of a life.
You drop them at school, kiss them goodbye and tell them you’ll be there, you’ll always be there, to see them after their day is over. And now it’s time for you, you’re on your way. It’s time for Uni.
Its tremendous how you feel the change of pace hit you as you join the onslaught of traffic on the A34. One long road, forty minutes drive and you’ve escaped. The rural setting of your three-bedroom semi is behind you and the hustle-bustle of Manchester awaits.
Parked up, you join the crowd, and begin to soak it in; you relish the anonymity of falling into the mass of students and young professionals who are walking at speed, knowing exactly where they need to be. They are oblivious to those around them, mostly captivated by their iPhones – walking, talking, texting, tweeting. Its hypnotic, all absorbing, it’s the city and you’ve made it there at long last – after all those years.
“Yes, please tell me What is Poetry?” “Yes, please talk to me about the structure and the dialogue of our current text.” “Yes, please allow me to breathe-in the sense of a dormant brain reawakening from its overwhelming life at home.” Yes, you are ready to be yourself again. It is incredible. It is freedom.
The mayhem continues, day by day, never ceasing, always exhausting; constantly tired, you press on. But for those few hours each day, four days a week, you are transported into a world of thought, a world of reflection and, as your new Poetry lecturer joyously told your new class, “You are being educated”.