It’s 8am and I’ve been rudely awakened. Why did Hero pick the 9am tutorial on Monday? Surely someone told her to have better sense than that. I sluggishly boot up for her to check the location of her class, the Lost on Campus website providing the answer as always. It’s in Coombs. Oh great. The place is a rabbit’s warren of three hexagons over three levels which never really seem to match up. We’re bound to be late.
She stuffs me into her backpack which smells of mi goreng and coffee…Mmmm coffee. I bounce around in the dark for what seems like hours, crashing into glasses, pens, headphones and study snacks; all the essentials for a perfect day at uni. Suddenly I am thrust into the light. It’s blinding! It seems Hero thinks she can get some last minute reading done as she sips her coffee from Grounds, located near the ANU Gym and a favourite of exercise junkies and hipsters alike. Just as I begin to settle into the article, disaster strikes. I watch in slow motion as the coffee cup tips towards me, before spilling its entire contents all over my shiny new keys … Ouch! That’s going to stain. What a way to present myself at class for the first time.
It’s now 9:10am and after circumnavigating Coombs three times, consulting Lost on Campus twice and finally resorting to asking a bare-footed professor where we’re going, I have finally settled onto the tutorial desk, eager to absorb the class’s knowledge. I sit in awe as students from all walks of life discuss, debate and occasionally argue about the challenges confronting the world’s great leaders. The future looks as bright as my screen in a dark room at midnight.
10am and we’re off to a lecture. I’m already overheating in this sweltering summer heat. I smartly face the front of the class, surrounded by many who look like me on the outside; bright, new and attentive. But inside I know we all have our own passions and strengths. The lecture for today is going to be given by “a ring-in from DFAT”. I don’t think you’d hear those words at any other university.
With uni classes completed, the day is still young I end up in the Arts library. While it may be a hike, the Arts library always has space for an extra laptop and the dead silence is positively inspiring. Despite the tranquillity, Hero soon decides study is over for the day, so again I’m packed away into the little red backpack. This time however, I am thrust into a bike basket as Hero speeds across the lake on the quickest form of transport known to students. I discover afterwards, as she uploads the photos to Facebook, that she was off soaking in the art at the National Gallery of Australia. Not everyone has the luxury of seeing some of the nation’s premier works on an afternoon whim. Maybe she’ll take me next time.
As the day draws to close, I’m pulled out one last time and hooked up to a projector. From my vantage point I watch Hero and her college friends curl up on beanbags in the Theatrette, laughing and munching popcorn as they watch the latest rom-com on Netflix. When it’s finally time to power down, I do so with a warmth in my mother-board. It’s been a good day. And tomorrow, we get to wake up and do it all again.
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