I’m seated in the MSD, watching my new lecturer have an argument with the projector. (Bet you anything, she’s a PC user!) To be utterly and completely honest… I’m sweating like a pig in a sauna!!
It may seem small, insignificant, a trifle… but the truth is, this moment is big, epoch-making, a whopper! In fact, it’s such a big deal that my hands are like Roger Federer’s after winning the Australian Open – and I haven’t even touched a tennis racket! Today is my first day of second year uni. It’s a big change… and I’m not sure I’m ready!
Of course, 2017 has already served up many changes. I’ve changed share-houses, been overseas for the first time and qualified as an ABA therapist. Still, it occurs to me that, this year, I could make the mother of all stuff-ups and the excuse, “Sorry, I’m just a poor helpless first year!” will no longer cut it. The idea is so terrifying that my sunglasses slip through my sweaty fingers and land squarely on my neighbour’s toe. She picks them up and hands them to me. Her smile seems plastered-on. This is the third inanimate object I’ve dropped on her foot since we sat down!
Even so, I think to myself, no change (however massive!) could be as scary as my sleep-over in the ancient Italian castle…
Said sleep-over happened in December. I was in Italy, with some Italians (how ironic!), Italian students and my two kooky Italian professors, doing a summer intensive. We’d arranged to spend the night in a medieval castle. Long ago, a noblewoman jumped out of a window there to escape a loveless arranged marriage. It’s said she still haunts the grounds. So far, the only supernatural encounter we’d had involved my nutty language professor, running around the castle with a table-cloth on his head, shouting ‘WOOOOO!’
That night though, our bedroom in the uppermost tower was invaded… by a blood-chilling, six-legged scorpion with pincers!!
At the sight of the intruder on our bedroom wall, all the girls screamed and ran to get help. Unfortunately, our professor was exhausted from all the castle-haunting and would not wake up! So, Jen (a third year) grabbed a vacuum cleaner from the closet and prepared for battle! Meanwhile, Tessa (from my class), jumped onto her creaky bed, i-Phone in hand. She wanted to film what she knew would be the last remaining minutes of our lives…! Everyone tensed. Jen switched on the vacuum and valiantly aimed for the beast. Her arm wavered with fear.
Suddenly – BANG!!! The bed broke. Tessa and her phone landed belly-up on the floor. Everyone, despite fearing for their lives, laughed. Jen tried again. She raised the nozzle, but the monster, clinging to life, started scuttling away! The moment was marked by screaming of over 150 decibels and then… the scorpion disappeared into the vacuum cleaner’s dusty depths!
Italian students cried, laughed and hugged each other. Then someone asked, “But where’s Aimee?”
I was still in bed. I’d slept through the whole thing.
Thinking back on the incident makes me smile. It had been a fear-filled experience, but with a little courage and a lot of bravado, we’d come through. Suddenly, I know that, in spite of my sweaty hands, second year uni will be the same!
Change is never easy. Sometimes, it’s as appealing as spending the night with an uninvited scorpion. Sometimes though, you just have to plunge in, armed with your vacuum cleaner, tennis racket or other weapon of choice, and get on with it. Chances are, you’ll live to tell the tale.
Welcome to Year 2 of my blog, my reader friends – this year’s shaping up to be just as funny, hair-raising and life-affirming as the last!