Archive for November, 2011

No cheat codes but growing up

November 16, 2011

So it turns out I am back from the dead. Metaphorically. Well, if being a soldier/essay writing zombie, sucked dry of any creativity and sapped of all will to do anything else, counts as being undead (and, technically, definitely, literally dead), then I’m literally back from the dead as well. Or, at least this blog is, because I sure as hell intend this post to be more than an internet copypasta.

Which, of course, doesn’t rule out the possibility of it including funny things from the endless vaults of the internet, so here’s a video of Simon Pegg before he did Shaun of the Dead. Or zombie movies. Or movies in general:

Anyway, that aside, it turns out that nostalgia is a really good cure for being a shambling undead monstrosity forever enshrined in early 21st century pop culture. That and the not altogether unpleasant shock of seeing a whole lot of new buildings in your old school compound, that is.

But, school isn’t really about spanking new buildings sprouting in every direction the eye can see, or the steel and glass wonder of an “administrative centre” hanging where the bridge between RI and RJC used to be, or even the pieces the art students are having slowly creep across every available open space. It’s rather a lot more about the unchanging hordes of green and white with the same faces and same chatter which seemingly never age or get bored of the same things over and over again. And that’s marvelous.

All the better that I went back on a major A level exam day then. At 3pm the majority of J2s are still glued, oblivious to the arctic air conditioning, to their seats in the two exam halls, reproducing in handwriting their printed chemistry revision notes and, once in a while, either staring in uncomprehending panic at a question they don’t understand or, much less commonly, feeling great, smug, satisfaction at their work. The remaining J2s are docilely poring over their notes in the usual corners (the windy benches, the canteen, next to the lockers, abandoned classrooms, etc.).

The J1s, however, are an altogether different breed. After all, with PW done school is most certainly out for the year, and the lectures they nominally come back to school for are nothing more than irritants to be completely forgotten in the much more immediate concerns of CCAs. Poetically enough, it’s the quintessence of RJC: mad CCAs everywhere to be seen (and some in places unseen), students ranging everywhere (from the library to the canteen, the amphitheatre, and the secondary school side) dancing, fencing, singing, acting, running, and being so generally chill they ought to be frozen. And all this speckled with the small but unmistakable signs of muggerdom everywhere.

At least until the paper is over.

Then come the familiar stream of students pouring out from the exam halls like a vast unstoppable tide of relief, an undertow of self-doubt, and eddies of both panic and satisfaction. And you see yourself, just a few short months ago, seemingly a fingersnap and a twinkle in the mind’s eye distant, part of that mighty crush of eager, anxious students. The vein of sentimentality runs deep, and you find yourself pining for bygone days. The ceaseless foment or turmoil of adolescence does not come to mind, but only carefree memories remembered through the rose-tinted lenses of reminiscence.

No one ever told me school was just the tutorial for life (and not a very good one either). Or that the learning curve was so steep. I want my money back (or three extra lives).