Monday, 17 October 2011

Inertia and other matters

The weather's turned.  Turned to SHIT. 

We had the sunniest weekend - possibly ever - this weekend just gone and how did I spend much of it?  Why, lounging idly on the sofa with the curtains closed, drinking tea and watching my new DVD set of The Big Bang Theory.  I have a wholly inappropriate, probably immoral, and certainly ill-advised, crush on Leonard. 

One of the many things I love* about that programme is the fact that I feel as though I am learning about Science as I watch.  All those years of sitting in double physics at school, praying for the fire alarm to go off, or a mysterious stranger to burst in through the door and carry me away, or a runaway horse to gallop into the corridor, or, well, anything that wasn't double physics, really, wasted.


I have learned more about mass, energy, time and space via an American comedy show than I did whilst studying for my failed physics O level. 

Failed?  Oh yes.  Actually, not so much "failed" as "crashed, then exploded, then crumbled into dust."   I'm not good at listening to stuff I don't find engaging, and lordy, I was even worse at it back then when I was 17.  I used to read all the notes diligently, but in lessons my brain shut down and went skipping off o'er the hills and far away while poor Mr Andrews (I think) tried to get me to learn about Van der Graaf generators** or inertia or gravity or resistance, or whatever tedious nonsense was on that day's agenda.

It was the same in maths lessons, as I have mentioned a few times in here previously.  I would TRY to listen, but my brain just refused.  If I ever seemed likely to actually absorb any mathematical knowledge, I'd get an agonising cluster headache to distract me before I could consolidate the knowledge into something helpful. 

I must be the only person who was actually employed by the Civil Service with no Maths O Level.  Shocking.  And they gave me a billion pound contract to manage for a bit.  Fools. 

Anyhoo.  I've been thinking about my days at school a fair bit lately, probably because the gym I go to is next to the local secondary school and if I time my morning visit wrong I drive past all the kids making their way there, gloomily dragging their feet, scrapping with each other, or walking along with their eyes locked immovably to their mobile phones. 

People tend to trot out that weary axiom about your schooldays being the happiest of your life when the subject comes up. Readers, I disagree. 

I was much happier when I was at college, reading books all day, working in a pub in the evenings, spending hours and hours in the college library reading Victorian copies of Punch magazine for research purposes***.  I was happier when I started working full-time too, earning money, feeling like a real grown-up, living on my own in my teeny little flat. 

School always felt like something to be got through to allow you to progress to the good stuff. 

So. The good stuff in my life at the moment:

We are planting a few more trees in the garden, inspired by the success of the crabapple.  This morning we planted a Victoria plum and a cherry tree in the front garden. I hope they thrive, and that in a year or two I can start harvesting their fruit. 

My guitar playing has stepped up a notch (Bam! ****) and I am learning to play what my guitar teacher kindly refers to as "solos" but which are really just scales with ideas above their station.  It's all rather fab though, and I love it. 

The new song I am focussing on learning this week is the embarrassingly cheesy duet between Tim McGraw and (I'm sorry, but it's true) Gwyneth Paltrow "Me and Tennessee."  Yes, I know.  I know

I like it.  There. I said it.

I'm making some funky fabric-y stuff, specifically cushion covers this week.  I'm discovering that I am quite good at it, too.  Bam!

Oh, and I am going to brave Salisbury and go to the posh scary hairdresser this week.  I am off to a wedding in a few weeks and my hair has suddenly reverted to "woman living in the country with no mirrors in the house" so urgent remedial action is needed.

It's all good, dawg. 

*apart from Leonard

**The experimental apparatus, not the band

***Honestly.  I did my dissertation on fairy stories and their reflected influence on Victorian novels, and how it all related to society in the Victorian era.  Utterly pointless, but I loved doing it.  It was a very fashionable subject in the 1980s, darlings. 

****copyright  Elzar and his spice weasel.

1 comment:

Middle Sis said...

I hated every minute of school, from changing primary school to the hell that was secondary school
When I went to Uni (about 20 years after you did) would sit at the front of the Research class staring at the lecturer. this made me listen as the whole thing was incredibly boring. I'm sure she thought I was either on drugs or some weird stalker.
But hey! I'm a specialist midwife now so it must have worked.