New

I have challenged myself to write a blog a day for the next thirty days from a list of random subjects i found. here is the first:

New

I looked round at the thirty odd people who had come into the classroom, some I had seen before in the union bar,  around the college corridors, or in the lift, but most were new faces to me. I was sitting next to the chirpy red head I’d come up in the lift with, we’d made some small talk, but she was probably as nervous and excited as I was and concealing it as well as I hoped I was. There was a mixture of men of women, some confident and cool, some clearly quite anxious, some seemingly indifferent or bored, but only a few were chatting, maybe to people they already knew, friends maybe, or perhaps they were just making conversation with strangers. Most seemed about my age, eighteen, some were clearly older, one was much older, a dark haired man with horn-trimmed glasses and a pleasant, relaxed expression. There were a couple who I knew must be a similar age to me but looked several years younger.

A woman of about my age sauntered up and asked if the desk next to me was free, yes, it was I replied and received an answering smile. She had a very pale, moon-shaped face, with large grey observant eyes and a small beaky mouth.

“Hi, I’m Sheila,” she said and sat down. She looked past me at the red-haired woman and asked her name. Kath, she replied, I told them I was Lois and we smiled at each other and then continued to look at the other students. There was a buzz of quiet conversation now, no doubt introductions and I caught scraps of conversation in different accents, where are you from, do you know Manchester, did you apply here or did you come through clearing? The women on either side of me were silent, as I was, but I was prickling to ask them  those very questions. Kath sounded as she might come from Birmingham, Sheila had a southern accent, featureless but slightly posh. And me? I came from Somerset though my home and heart were in Cambridge where I was born. I hadn’t got here, got into Manchester Polytechnic through clearing or through applying; I was rung up and after visiting the college, the College of Commerce, I was offered a place with such enthusiasm that if I hadn’t been so excited and relieved I would have been suspicious. How could I then have known that the offer would change my life, and give me the best educational experience ever?

The door had remained ajar for a while with no new people, students or our unknown lecturers entering; it swung open and two women strode in, tall slim and confident. One had wavy black hair, the other straight blond hair. They seemed to know each other, although they weren’t talking, but they found two seats at the front and sat down, unhurried and assured. I looked round at the class; these were people I would get to know, some very well, some hardly at all. Some might become friends, some close friends, some would remain distant or just unknown to me. There was a young woman with very dark curly hair, pinned to one side of her face; she had huge thick-lensed glasses, and she seemed to have trouble seeing through them, her head slightly forward, peering around her. There was a stunningly beautiful woman, she looked like a model, tanned and confident, her browny gold hair rippling down her shoulders, her clear eyes assessing everyone she looked at. Beside her was a smaller dumpy person, who was talking to her, she too had long hair, but it was a mousy brown. I noticed two men, a chunky one and a skinny one; the chunky one had a boyish look, rosy cheeks, heavy blond fringe, friendly smile. The one beside him had a bony face, curly hair and John Lennon glasses. They were talking to each other and looking mostly at the young women, their new classmates.

The door opened and two teachers – no lecturers, we had left teachers behind at school – came in and stood at the front looking round, smiling in welcome.

“Hi, people,” the plumper one in the green corduroy jacket said. “I am David Olive, and this is my colleague Trevor Thomas, and we, along with a couple of others, will be teaching you English this year. Welcome all of you, to the Faculty of Commerce, your college for the next three years in our brand new Polytechnic. As our esteemed director, Dr Smith describes it, Manchester Polytechnic is the Rolls Royce of polytechnics. Welcome all of you to your new home.”

For some reason there was a spatter of applause as we all looked round at each other, smiling and grinning, our new home!

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