O Fortuna

Fortuna lightly balances the orb of sovereignt...

So for the first time in my entire life I’m looking forward to going back to school!

I always hated the end of summer, I don’t know why. Maybe something to do with being made to sit in a room all day while a relay of people told you about things you were largely not interested in. It’s not as much fun as it sounds. I think adults completely forget how slowly time passes for kids. Five years in an institution is a blink of an eye for someone in their forties. To a child of five, it’s a life sentence.

Also I have to admit I didn’t much like the company of children. They’re poor listeners, and not at all supportive. Really, they’re as likely to tell you you’ve done a good job with your glitter and glue as hit you and run away. Less so in fact. Oh I like them now well enough. Some kids are great company. But I guess back then I just wasn’t mature enough to appreciate them.

Things were better in university of course. My undergraduate years were passed in talking with friends and avoiding lectures, drinking coffee, staying up all night, and never having any sex at all. It was a lovely time. Mostly. But even then I still preferred it when my time was my own. That seems illogical; perhaps it was just the years and years of conditioning. But in your restless twenties even something as laid-back as university education can seem onerous.

I had a favourite quotation from a mediaeval Latin poem that expressed this frustration. Because that’s how bizarre Arts students can be. It’s out of Carmina Burana, a collection of work by Goliards, students who satirized the corrupt church. Several were famously set to music by Carl Orff. The one everyone knows is O Fortuna; this though is from Omittamus Studia (Study Break):

Velox etas preterit
studio detenta.
Lascivire suggerit
tenera iuventa.

Which might be unscholastically translated as:

Time goes so fast
and study gets you down.
This tender youth
just wants to hit the town.

The days when education seemed like a low tunnel are behind me, now that I’ve been out longer than I was in. (Though not by much when you consider that, even discounting preschool, I was in the system for the ages four to twenty-four.) A structured routine seems like a novelty now, and one I could use, so September no longer fills me with gloom. On the contrary, the challenge excites me.

Let’s see how long this lasts.

 

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