Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sturt Winter School, arriving

So here I am, sitting cross-legged on a single bed in a two-girl dorm in a boarding house. Flip back -- bejeesus -- TWENTY-SEVEN years, and you'd find me doing the same thing. Except that at 9:52pm it would have been lights out ages ago, and I wouldn't have had a small quantity of alcohol to make the boarding experience that much fuzzier. Or maybe I would have, I can't remember minute details of that time, but I do know that I had a very naughty roommate, so smuggled alcohol wouldn't have been out of the question.

There's fresh white linen on the bed, and besides me and the bed, and the other bed, there's also two of the following: desk, chair and wardrobe, but only one bedside table, which is actually next to the door. It's not a big room, so there's not more floor space. The girls must have to climb over each other to get around. The radiator was on full-bore when I first came into the room (which I bet never happens when the girls are here), but now that I've turned it off and opened the window, the room is quite a good temperature.

I'm in Hartfield House at Frensham School in Mittagong, NSW, and I'm here to teach a class at the Sturt Winter School fulltime for the week. I've unpacked, had my induction and my dinner of butter chicken curry followed by pancakes & icecream (I made a joke to the guy in the kitchen that I was here to gain weight, and he replied that it was his job to make sure I gained weight, so I'm doomed), and even watched a movie in the drama theatre (Up in the Air, with the delectable George Clooney and the even more gorgeous Vera Farmiga).

Speaking of films, Bumblebee and I had a date this morning to see Super 8, which I highly recommend. What a ride of a movie! We laughed, we jumped, we cried (well, I did), we laughed again. Like E.T., mixed with something a touch scarier and funnier. Suitable for 10+, probably not any younger.

Yesterday Colonel and Lady Duck visited, with my lovely little nana, who has moved in with them after a couple of those age-defining health incidents that leave you unable to live alone anymore. They brought her up to see our new house, and to visit a plaque that's been put in the war section of the local cemetary for my grandfather. I tell you, if I could be half the jolly little old lady my nana is when I'm that old, I'll be happy. She's inspirational. She was touched to see a few of her Precious Things around my house: a set of mugs she'd passed on to me years ago, a lovely wooden standing lamp, a painting my grandfather painted. We always think of inheriting things when people die, but it can be nice know while you're still alive that your descendants treasure the things you love.

Anyhoo, here I am, loving the Sturt experience, but wishing I didn't have to feel so bloody prefect-ish, sitting on my school blanket on my school bed. I've got a full class tomorrow, and one of my students is a fellow ANCA artist, who always said she wanted to do one of my classes... I never think those statements are real, but she meant it! She's a lot of fun, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow even more.

As you can tell, I've got internet access with my trusty dongle, so I'll try to blog a bit this week, and share some photos of the class's progress. Right now though, it's lights-out, otherwise I'll be a grumpy tutor.

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