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The irony of being on a journalism course and at the same time suffering a bad case of blogger’s block is painful. Which of course, doesn’t make it any easier to force thoughts into the words I want. Imagine trying to fit a cat into a box with a narrow opening, when the cat has other ideas. It’s a lot like that inside my head at the moment.

no pressure to provide catchy quotes or fit my verbal cat into a four hundred word box

Perhaps its too much learning? I’d like to believe that there is so much going into my little brain that there just isn’t space to get anything else. But I am not sure it’s really that. God knows I am writing enough other stuff every day. Interviewing this person here, writing a colour piece there, and so on. I’m getting to write Lots. Just not in the style I want, in the space I want to be in.¬† Which is here, where there are no points, no technical structures, no pressure to provide catchy quotes or fit my verbal cat into a four hundred word box. But writer’s block, unlike a stubborn feline, eventually tires and wanes. And the truth is that, lurking deep inside lectures on story forms and shutter speeds, there are little pieces of why I came here. Things that remind my why I was so glad to turn my life upside down and push in this direction.

Every so often, interspersed in dry discussions of content and assignment hand-ins, something will happen that reminds me that this place I am traveling through is undeniably closer to the places I ultimately want to be. An offhand comment by a lecturer about press freedom, about being a war correspondent. Discussions¬†on ‘where to next’ with a class of people who all, despite having opportunities to be in richer, commercial places, chose to be here, to do this. I’ve always found the idealism that universities are so steeped in to be invigorating. They are one of the few places in the world where you can regain perspective. On the world, on your own life, on what would really make for a deeply satisfying direction for your energies. My class is filled with and taught by people who not only believe in more, but want to and have gone out and pursued it. In that must surely lie inspiration.

The cheese muffins in the reception office are also quite delicious.