Today I travelled to Newcastle to start on my MA in Creative Writing. I don't really remember what it felt like to come here 29 years ago, to start my PhD. (Which probably means I was just barely coping – or is it because I was pissed most of the time?) Keen to live on my own for the first time, my life revolved around my dingy flat in King John Street, my office in the Claremont Tower, the postgraduate common room and the library, with Sunday walks in Jesmond Dene. This time, I'm living in university housing, sharing a kitchen with 7 other postgrads. (Haven't met any of them yet.)
At 21, there's plenty of time to live the rest of your life, but at 50, I'm aware that I'm never going to be a student again after this. I'm paying much more attention, and since this is the age of social media (which I was just about to discover, in 1989) I'm going to document whatever fragments grab my attention during the whole process; whole being the 732 days from 24/9/2018-24/9/2020, my official start and end dates.
As another dimension to this social media experiment, I'm going to post a daily photos to my instagram (which I've never posted to before), and thoughts to my mastodon (which I've only just discovered). I've been using flickr for over 10 years and twitter almost as long, without ever really questioning their advantages and disadvantages (except perhaps when I chose flickr in 2007). It seems to me the best way to think about what's good and bad about a tool is to use a different tool for a while, so I'll use this well-bounded student period to do that. And who knows, maybe re-evaluate some other things I do too.