Thursday, 2 June 2011

The term is over!

Quite literally this time round. After four and a half years of studying at the same University, yesterday closed that chapter of my life.

As I left the exam hall yesterday evening, it occurred to me that the next exam I write will be in Oxford. Oxford! The idea still brings chills (both figurative and literal ;-)). I've referred in previous posts to going to Oxford as as a dream, but the dream is fast becoming a reality. I have four months to get everything ready. The thought of packing is especially scary. How do I decide what to take and what to leave behind? Do I buy stuff here and take it over, or wait and buy stuff there? So many questions, so much to do, but I am excited, and nervous and petrified O.O and impatient (all at the same time).

I'll never forget UKZN, even if I am in that beautiful place called Oxford. I'll miss my musty office, the winding passages of MTB, the clinical rooms of Shepstone, the freezing Classics museum, and most of all the beloved Library. That library was my second home and place of refuge for the first two years (before I had my own office), the views of the harbour and city were my constant companions (and what beautiful views they were). And the books in that Library. One of the first and most exciting things I discovered there was a three-volume complete set of The History of Middle Earth. After years of searching for the various volumes - there they were just sitting on the shelves. As I advanced in my studies I lost count of the number of books I borrowed. Even if they were (my lesser preference) non-fiction books, they contained treasure troves of Classical and Linguistic information. Some of those books (like the Loeb transtlations) hadn't been taken out in 30 years. Some weren't on the electronic system - but they were precious, and I always felt a thrill, leaving that Library with another treasured book (or pile of books) in my hands.

Then there's my lecturers, classmates, colleagues, students and friends. I'll miss them the most, but that's for another post on another day.

That stage of my life is over, and a new one awaits. New (and probably older) hallways, new libraries, new colleagues and friends. A new chapter is starting, even better than the one before, and I can't wait to live it...

Dear Lord, I praise you for the life you have given me and the adventures I have faced. Please keep me strong as a prepare for the next adventure. Be my guide and my light, and keep me safe by your side as I venture into the unknown. Never let me slip out of your hands, for you are my strength and salvation.

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