Inspired by Emily Diana Ruth’s Letters to July series, along with Carrie Hope Fletcher’s re-jigging of the concept for her own Letters to Autumn seriously, I thought I would write a little snippet each day to the lovely month that is October. So here goes nothing…
October, I had my very first seminar of my MA course about Posthumanism. I don’t quite know what I expected from the first seminar but it was wonderful. It’s safe to say – and I am relieved to say! – that it’s never going to be a class in which an awkward silence will linger.
Do you remember those, October? Fresh-faced but timid first year undergraduates sat in an at-that-point unfamiliar seminar room, an intimidating PhD student sat at the front of the class asking a relatively simple question but no one wanting to be the one to speak up and answer. It wasn’t a case of worrying about being teacher’s pet, that wasn’t it at all, long gone were the days of secondary school where that judgement was more likely to happen.
I don’t know what it was but uncomfortable silences seemed to reign in first year. Someone would eventually snap of course and break the silence – I often did so, with a cautionary, ‘I don’t know if it’s what you’re meaning but I think-‘ to absolve me from any potential off-topic answer. Because I couldn’t stand the silence, October.
In silences I have time to second-guess myself, to mull over whether what I’m thinking even answers the question, if what I’m thinking is even ‘good enough’ to voice aloud or whether it’s so painfully obvious that that is why no one has volunteered it as an answer to the question the kindly PhD student just put to us all. And, believe me October, I don’t need any more help second-guessing myself.