Monday, October 18, 1982


Another late night, Alex, Pete and I rushing around Wollstonecraft Hall creasing up with laughter, fighting with snooker cues, etc. Ridiculous. We ended up in the LifeLine office listening to a Ugandan bloke slowly deliberate about his views on life and society and being very idealistic communist-Utopian.

I woke up weighed down by the thought of the enormous load of work I have to do, my Fenimore Cooper novel still unread (which I regret) and an essay on sensitivity to language unwritten. My tutorial on Cooper was so interesting and I reaffirmed for the millionth time my desire to read everything, all of Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales and much more. At such times my thirst for reading is apparent but it's rarely (if ever) translated into concrete action and it’s been quite chastening to realise that I'm the dimmer among bright stars here in terms of background knowledge and reading.

I like Dr. Palfreyman, my tutor for American Civilization. He fires me up with an enthusiasm and I fantasize about changing my programme to American Literature. He told us a tale about a man he met in Pennsylvania whose ancestors came from Scotland. The man showed him letters from back home containing a line he’d always vividly remembered; “Here you do not have to pull up your bonnet to the laird.” We have to read Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and some of his short stories.

I got a letter from school telling me that I’ve been given a £10 Dunn & Sons award for “outstanding A-level achievement.” It was accompanied by a note from Dad instructing me to go back for the presentation evening on November 19th. They'll pay for the fare.

I missed my first tutorial today (Dr. Herring, philosophy), and that only because I couldn’t do the essay. I feel pretty bad about it, mixed with a determination not to do it again, but it’s an oh-so familiar feeling though. I am so weak.

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