I had a huge meltdown last week and have had to take myself in hand. Otherwise I wouldn't have made it back to Glasgow.
Basically, I have decided to give my long-suffering partner Hugh a break from my turmoils and traumas, and so I am now in Glasgow for two weeks to try to get my head down and study.
I have decided just to do what I can do and try to keep my instinct intact.
My instinct has stood me in good stead over the years and I am proud of the way it has guided me for all my projects.
The lady lecturer with the big, big eyes however couldn't hide her instinct and intuition when I read out my homework, probably the biggest bit of trite guff I've ever written. Very nicely, she murmured, 'don't apologise.'
I wasn't apologising for me. But for the others who had to listen to it.
One of the reasons for this is my frustrations at not being able to watch any online TV or access e-books from the university library as the broadband in the Highlands is so poor.
This frustration has made it impossible for me to function on this course and so Glasgow it is until I catch up. A visit to the chemist to purchase an eye bath was essential.
I've watched loads of telly this last few weeks and the combination of TV + computer viewing has put my eyes out on stalks. My landlady has a technology controlled flat even down to the heating switching it on and off by phone or computer. There is no escaping it.
Last weekend, as a newbie student, still struggling with what I've started to call the academonisation of TV fiction writing and having to present it all in essay form, my daughter-in-law (a working mother of three and worker to her bootstraps) reminded me she was in the middle of studying for a degree.
She told me she couldn't actually remember what year she was in, but just kept ploughing on with essay after essay. I felt ashamed.
Then I remembered the experience of my 'protégée' from the days when I taught dance full time to GCSE & A Level in schools and colleges.
She became a full time dance teacher and when she was in her 30s, having had a family, opted to do a post graduate MA in Dance.
I watched from a distance in admiration. The physicality of it at her age was taxing. She was delivered a blow having acquired Addison's, a rare and chronic auto immune disease. Then she unexpectedly fell pregnant again.
She reminded me of the days of retching and writhing in pain; and the sheer physical side of the dance combined with the dreaded essay-writing, not to mention the added hissy fits and traumatic outbursts.
I felt ashamed again.
I do have to say my piece though. Writing, like dance, has had to succumb to academonisation. I can tell you also that no amount of qualifications is ever going to make you a dancer. Basically you can or you can't dance. You can improve on your talent, but if talent isn't there to start with... Well, that's you finished.
At Glasgow Caley this week, I studied crime and medical drama and for the first time, I could put my hand up as having seen some relevant TV. Yes, Dixon of Dock Green and Dr. Kildare.
Dixon of Dock Green. As friendly as a plated salad with a dollop of salad cream followed by a tin of fruit salad topped with condensed milk.
Hugh is watching Dr. Finlay on GOLD. Meanwhile I watched ITV's Breathless, which supposed to be set in the 1960's. I was there and I didn't recognise it. It was bordering on the 1950's.
My class mates are a good mixture of individuals; four Scots and the rest from around the UK. There are four girls and six boys. I class myself as a girl but truth be told, none of these young ones seem over 25 years old.
This week, the canteen lady thought myself and my fellow mature student Jan were on the midwifery course, which after having watched two episodes of Bodies for homework, fair put me off my lunch.
I am writing this while taking coffee in one of the lovely pavement coffee shops on Glasgow's south side, reading my papers before a brisk walk back to the flat via a few very smelly gift shops. Glasgow has gone quite smelly. Almost enough to warrant an antihistamine tablet before visiting the shops.
We have been out to a couple of play productions in pubs. No canned laughter, no panel judges, just the public having a good night out whether the play is good or not. At the end of the day, they are up there doing it and you and I aren't... so!!!
What have I learned? That the only reason for a bit of drama on a box is to draw customers in to buy product and brands; that nothing's new but reinvented; that unless I can write for Doctors, Casualty, Holby City and various soaps I won't get to write at all; unless I come up with the next Breaking Bad or Downton Abbey - then basically I'd better get back to the pub and the two minute drama!
Oh, and I'll never get a job with a software company, like my fellow student who, when I asked him what he worked as, replied he created software to put people out of work. I am feeling momentarily lucky; I am retired as I've worked all my life, never been absent a single day and enjoyed three major careers.
None of which was academonised.
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