April Showers

Ah, April.  The beginning of Spring, it is usually marked by the increase of rain, sun, and most importantly, warm.  And – wait – snow?

This was the scene outside my window yesterday:

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When will the snow and the cold end?!  Though, it is quite fascinating to observe a time where the temperature in the atmosphere must be at least 5C below that on the ground; within hours an inch-thick layer had vanished.  I even watched a torrent slip off our neighbour’s roof, all in one go, and have vanished from the ground in an hour.  Only remnants remain.

But we’re set for more snow.  Oh, the joys…

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My Varied Week

Warning: this post goes into detail about the ups and downs of my past week.  May involve mild feelings.  If you’re of the irritating belief that we should all be living ice people with stiff lips then you may find this vaguely offensive, though there’s nothing too obscene.

One word: Prelims.  If you know what this means I expect you to be recoiling in horror right now and if you don’t, well, you are envied by many.  Basically, preliminary examinations which act as a kind of practice run before the final exams.  They do count for getting into courses which start before you get results for the final exams, and can also be used in appeals, but I’m in the fortunate position of relying on neither since I already have the grades I need.

So, why was it so Hellish?  Simply, all four of my exams were scheduled between four days of one another.  I am, of course, grateful that I have the opportunity to sit any exams – but did it have to be so stressful?  I’ve spent most of the last month either doing research for my history dissertation (“How great an effect did the pressures of foreign countries have on Apartheid policies between 1960 and 1984?”) and NABs (other horrific ‘unit passes’, which you need to pass in order to sit the final exam).  So basically, I had no time to revise for the exams.

Then I caught a cold.  And snow swept across the island.  It’s as if the world has been conspiring to make me perform as badly as possible in the Prelims!  It’s fair to say this past week wasn’t an enjoyable experience – particularly the three hour Advanced Higher history exam… I still shudder at the thought.  But, somehow, I managed to get to all four of my exams and actually seemed to do alright.  Not had any of the results yet – not that they’re very important at this stage – but I performed as well as I could have hoped.

The most varied day of all was Wednesday, the Hellish history exam.  I genuinely felt in a state of mild shock afterwards, consumed by numbness, unable to get my head out of Apartheid South Africa (not the nicest of places).  A couple of people described me as ‘shell-shocked’, amusingly.  I guess the length of the exam, the longest I’ve ever sat, took it out of me.  I hear exams at university typically last three hours… *another shudder*.  Interestingly, St. Andrews chose that day to let me know they’d offered me an unconditional place to study English.

I HAVE A PLACE AT ST. ANDREWS!!  How did that happen?  That’s so amazing!  I’m so lucky!

And I’m probably going to turn it down.  Hah.  I’m not sure yet, and wouldn’t like to say anything for sure.  I guess, having grown up on a remote island, I’d prefer to live somewhere well connected like a city.  And St. Andrews, for all its prestige, has a very negative reputation of royalty and privilege – neither of which I’m a great fan of!  I’ll have to visit, of course.  It’s exciting to tell people I’ve been offered a place, anyway.  Someone told me I would be ‘mad’ to turn it down.  Am I?

So yeah, that was my dramatic week.  How was yours?

The Serenity of Snow

Finally, after my whining, snow has arrived!  I’m writing this a day late – slushy dregs are now being washed away by a downpour of rain – but the snow yesterday was beautiful.  It lay on the ground in an unusually compact manner, so your feet barely seemed to make an imprint, yet the snow itself was only mildly slippery.  It was a joy to see the landscape once more coated in light shades, like the mud and hibernating heather had been purified.  I can suffer the cold more gladly with snow on the ground and the bright skies which tend to follow.  Being in a snowy landscape is one of the more relaxing experiences I have discovered in my life, although it can cause rather stressful transport problems!  But gone now, hopefully to return at some point this Winter.