Wednesday, March 9, 1983
I got my reports from serious-faced and thoughtful Dr. Carwardine, my new personal tutor.
I was quite surprised to find I’d got a ‘2’ from Bonnycastle; he said I was “intelligent & perceptive” (a stock comment apparently) but also noted that my explanations for missing tutorials were “unsatisfactory.” Carwardine asked me about this and I again confessed I had no excuse. “I’ve had difficulty motivating myself," I told him, and repeated that I dislike the unreality of this campus existence. Miriam gave me an OK report that wasn’t graded but said I didn’t “push” myself enough in tutorials and needed to say more.
Then, quite out of the blue, Dr. C. asked me where I came from, all about my family, when I moved, my feelings about Lockley compared to Egley, and so on. I told him I preferred the down-to-earth quality of the former and dislike Farnshaw and Egley’s sterile well-kept stagnation. He said he knows people in Easterby. I thought that he was perhaps taking things over the top and told him I it will be much better for me living off campus next autumn.
So I got away with another term of academic shoddiness that all-in-all was pretty shabby. Not many books read. I’ve spent the last couple of days on a cheap Hell's Angels exposé which is really quite gripping. Lots to catch up on over the holidays for Am. Lit. and Black Americans.
After this I went for a walk. I took a path up through the woods that run along the crest of the ridge overlooking Wollstonecraft Hall. The muddy path climbed gradually between the trees and seemed to be going on without end, so as it was getting on towards dusk, I decided to turn back. By then I was high beyond the University, which was now hidden behind the rolls and folds of hills. Down to my right I could see ant-like tractors chugging across the fields, Westdorgan Valley hidden by mist, only the milky silhouettes of trees visible. The trees were dark and bare, their grey-green trunks pressing in around me, the calls of birds everywhere.
On my way back I met a man and woman looking for the University. They followed me back down the track and, just before we reached the Uni., the woman asked me if I lived back there: “I thought maybe you lived in a little log cabin somewhere.” It seemed an odd thing to say.
My evening was pretty nondescript. Penny cut my hair, I had a bath and finished off the book on the Hell's Angels.