Finally, term has started. These short European (I think) style terms mean most establishments are half-way through their first term already, but our first day back was today.
I wasn’t looking forward to it. Which I feel bad about. I’m sure most people were really excited about getting back. But I was wary. I think it’s to do with having been fully immersed in my other life for the past three months. Most people at LISPA come here from abroad solely to go to the school and I think it’s a very different experience to the one I’m having. Their experience is, I guess, a bit like moving away from home to go to university for the first time, discovering a new city, living in shared houses, etc.
I have this other established life in which almost everyone I know is involved in making websites. So I have all these friends in London already, and most of them also live their lives online through weblogs, mailing lists, Flickr, Twitter, Dopplr, etc. Some of them spend ever increasing amounts of time flying around the world to speak and hang out at endless technology-related conferences.
During term time I feel a bit separated from all this activity, the world I’ve been a part of since I moved to London in 1995. As the weeks go by I become more like a spectator, my connections and knowledge slowly, slowly slipping away. And I was often torn between these two lives, wanting to somehow be fully immersed in two lives at once.
And then it was summer again and I was at the BBC for three months, working in offices, doing web stuff, and that new life of running barefoot around a large room doing silly things seemed very far away.
So it felt a little odd to admit, as October arrived, that I was about to shut off that enjoyable, seductive and different life to return to LISPA. I couldn’t imagine seeing everyone again, doing new things, struggling with problems of an utterly different kind to, say, why there’s too much space underneath a piece of text in Internet Explorer.
Today, the first day, was an introductory day to get most of the “Hey, how are you, how was summer?” conversations out of the way. We also met the new first years who, unfortunately, we’ll barely see during the next year — while they’re based out west at Latimer Road, the second years will be spending our days behind the Hackney Empire, in the Bullion Room Theatre.
Thankfully, once I got there, I soon relaxed a bit, my wariness dissipated, and it was great to see everyone again. The schedule for the next nine months sounds exciting, the new space sounds good, and, finally, I’m even eager to get started tomorrow morning. Better late than never.