(eventually decided not to throw a ‘frakking’ into that title – who says I don’t edit my posts before I upload them)
Exams are upon us, bringing with them endless hours of learning exactly what Satan’s opening speech consists of in Paradise Lost, and equally endless hours of preparing for such an undertaking; yesterday I talked about planning the revision, and this morning was full of preparing for the revision. I got an excellent haircut for a mere six quid, tidied my catastrophically dumpster-like room, and bought some sticky labels and folders to file my work into (because I’ve done actual work too).
And walking around the Ryman’s next to Goodge Street Station – picking out colours of folders, choosing the correct size and volume of labels – and the subsequent sticking of labels at home – choosing the right corner for them all to be stuck in, selecting the colour of pen to use to write each label – I realised how much I’m a fan of the mundane task of filing. Just breaking down a stack of fundamentally identical yet slightly different stacks of paper into folders based on those slight differences is a weirdly enjoyable task; even if I’m not engaging my brain, I feel like I’m being constructive, and sorting out my ideas to evaluate and write about them, if I’m not actually producing new ones.
In the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of mistaking preparations for work for actual work; my disastrous attempt at my first year of GCSEs was mostly spent going to the cinema, choosing between light blue- and cyan-coloured folders for my shit, and ultimately resitting every exam I took that Summer. But now, the filing is done. The planning and preparation is complete. Now I just have to do the work I’ve quite carefully set myself up to do; I’ve already picked which texts I’m revising (NB for friends on my course, I’m gonna learn a bit of Tristram), and which five themes per module I’m going to revise in preparation of the essay questions. Tomorrow I’ll collect quotes and critics, and over this weekend I’ve started rote-learning Old English again, which is about as fun yet relentless as I remember it being in January.
And I’ll be doing all this from the comfort of my colour-coordinated folders.