I left a hastily written draft here last night in the fruitless attempt to calm myself down. What happened instead, was that I tired myself out such that I fell asleep almost immediately.
You see, whilst having afternoon tea and a nice chat with my uncle and my mom last Friday, I received a call. Turns out I was shortlisted for an interview and a writing test with the English Literature department of one of the local universities. Whoa! I wasn’t prepared at all. I’d thought that selection would start this April, not so soon… Being me, I was jittery throughout the day. Even at work on Saturday and Sunday, I was preoccupied with thoughts of the test and the interview. What in heavens was I supposed to write about? What would they ask me?
And so commenced the late-night-before fretting.
First, I hadn’t so much as touched English as a subject since I graduated from secondary school.
Next, I have an awful memory. Some books I’ve read are almost as alien as those I haven’t looked at before. According to some former students’ blogs I found via Google (thanks, love), I would be required to write about either a piece of literature or a film OR analyse a poem.
Lastly, it was through this fretting that I realized how much I wanted to do well for that. Deep down in my subconscious, I actually really wanted to study literature. WHAT! Honestly, it hit me the first time last night.
Waking up this morning was no different from any other school day. I hit the snooze button twice before pushing myself up from the ever so warm bed. My dad, having heard that a university had shortlisted me for an interview, decided to do a special and drive me over. However, universities are pretty scarily huge and we got lost, driving around in circles, up and down the hill, unable to locate that one building amongst the many that held my fate in its rooms. The administration manager even called my mobile to tell me off – “Do you know that we are all waiting for you?” and my dad was cursing at the “bad” road signage.
I was 10 minutes late. It definitely affected my ability to think and write coherently. However, when I saw the purple lined paper, I knew I had to write about Dracula. Thanks, Bram Stoker for the wonderful novel (well, and your Irishness)! With only 30 minutes on hand, I knew that my essay wasn’t as perfect as I’d intended it to be, but I was satisfied. And I haven’t been satisfied with my work in a very long time.
It took quite awhile for the professors to mark the papers and call us up for the interview individually. One of the girls came back looking very worried and told me that she was told to describe the kind of books she reads. She was also asked about the style of the narrative and of a film she wrote about in the test. She didn’t look too positive and wished me good luck. Unfortunately, it didn’t do anything to calm my frayed nerves (I was the last one).
When I was called at last, I jumped and groped around awkwardly for my bag. It was a good thing that she wasn’t as frightening as described. In fact, as we chatted, I found her to be really, really nice and friendly. She brought up a creative writing program that she is in-charge of and asked me about the types of books I read. She seemed to be genuinely interested in what I had to say, especially when I was telling her about a book I read recently (Burial Rites by Hannah Kent which you all should go pick up ASAP). She even thanked me when I said I wouldn’t spoil it for her. I could see that she really loved what she’s doing. I stepped out feeling energized and refreshed.
There were no nagging feelings this time about the course. I’m not worried. That says a lot.
I think I’ve unearthed my passion. It’s been there all this while. It was there when I held a tiny book in my hands about a black horse with a white star on her forehead; about a man who robbed from the rich to give to the poor; about five sisters, the last of whom I found just as annoying as my youngest sister.
Now, I’ll just have to pray that they’ll accept me and that I passed my final semester exams.