All the little souls, hard-pressed but dead-set on keeping time and getting them end-all, be-all qualifications for life-work and running around the college halls with the hope of ages—they are beautiful in their naivety. Tired eyes are those of the up-too-late-gaming set. Softy eyes are of the just-fell-in-love set. Laughing eyes are of the great-to-be-out-of-the-house-and-with-my-mates set. And in all their little conversations, and leaning up against the walls and poor postures—in all of their measured staring at the opposite sex and laugh bombs in the student common rooms—in each and everyone one of them is a 40 year-old who will complain about their council tax, who will moan at the price of petrol, who will be looking to get a divorce and wondering where their kids are — Only they have no clue what waits for them. Thank Christ. Or else the future would hold no hope.
I see their lovely, little hopeful faces— and dodge them in the stairwell during the class change– little backpack turtles squeeking down the corridors in stinky converse trainers and skinny jeans—all babble and buzz–contributing to the migratory song of the student collective. And I become one of them as I pay heed to my footfall down the commonplace stairs and out into the lack-lustre glare of institutional lighting just before I go into a Curriculum Manager’s Meeting.