It’s been two weeks since I checked in last. (Since I last checked in? Since last I checked in? Language is wonderfully confusing.) In that time, several noteworthy things have happened, so I thought I’d write about everything that’s been going on instead of focussing on one specific topic like I usually do. I hope you don’t mind the change. If you do, well tough.
Stress has been happening. Lots of it. In great, incapacitating mounds. Now, I know this is the case with every single uni student ever and it’s hardly unique to me. But I still think it’s important that I write about it. Last week was particularly bad. I had three assignments all due in at the same time, and I’d left them all largely to the last minute. Not clever, I know, but that’s what happened. Long story short, I didn’t cope very well with the pressure. I got completely frazzled. I felt like the central figure in The Scream by Edvard Munch. It became nearly impossible for me to concentrate and I could sometimes hear ringing in my ears.
I ended up pulling an all-nighter to get everything done; I did “finish” the three assignments, but I wasn’t really pleased with my work. It wasn’t the best I could do. But what’s done is done. Now, I just have to keep going and wait for my results. I think, in one way, this experience was good for me. With more deadlines coming up soon, this has created a strong incentive for me to manage my time better. I really don’t want to go through this kind of paralysing stress again.
It hasn’t been all bad, though. Several good things have been happening in my life. For instance, concerts! Ok, that should really be concert. Singular. But it was a good single concert. So, for my MUS 140 paper one of our assignments was to write a “Concert Report”. This meant we had to go to a Classical concert – and for work, no less! (As you can probably tell, I am very excitable when it comes to Classical Music.) I chose to attend the “ANZAC Spirit” concert put on by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) at the Auckland Town Hall. The NZSO were just wonderful; I was so excited to get to hear them play, especially since they rarely came to Christchurch. The three pieces were linked to WWI and they were all beautiful. I was particularly moved by Frederick Kelly’s Elegy for String Orchestra (link to Youtube: http://tinyurl.com/orkhhlc) written in memoriam of a friend who died just before the Gallipoli campaign. There’s this one moment in that piece, about two minutes in, where a solo violin emerges from the orchestra and plays a melody so haunting and anguished… I was enraptured. And, on top of the music, I got an excuse to dress up and feel classy! So a wonderful evening, overall.
Once I was over my spate of assignments, I took the day off and spent it with an old friend who’s just moved up to Auckland. It was really great to see him again. Eager to explore the city, we – well, I – wanted to go to Takapuna. We didn’t get off to a great start: first we had trouble locating the bus stop, and then we missed the bus because we were too self-conscious to wave it down. So much for being strong, independent adults. Eventually we arrived in Takapuna, somewhat exhausted after the ordeal of getting there. We discovered a retro sci-fi shop with lots of cool Doctor Who stuff that I couldn’t afford, and took a stroll along Takapuna Beach looking out to Rangitoto Island. It was a really nice spot, if a little crowded by South Island standards, and I’m glad to have gotten to know Auckland a bit more. On the bus back to town, we had a sweeping panoramic view of the CBD, the kind you normally see on ads or billboards in airports. We could see all the yachts, the high rises, the Sky Tower – the same Sky Tower I can see from my room in Uni Hall. It was back to life as usual.