Pick a star on the dark horizon

July 13, 2010 § 5 Comments

Today is one of these days where I realize how much I need knitting. Cause sometimes, when things derail, it’s the only thing that I have control over, and that’s something that’s kept me from completely freaking out more than once.

I’ve been knitting due to Spanish a lot this semester.

Part of it has been due to the exhausting pace of this semester, which I didn’t feel as devastatingly as some of my classmates. And, I mean, I love Spanish, but even I had a lot of days where I felt like I was drowning in an acid lake of Spanish grammar and vocab work, and all I wanted to do was curl up and die. I knit instead. At my own pace. Without pressure, without deadlines, without the icy breath of upcoming exams in my neck.

Some of it was the usual things – getting up too early after too little sleep, too much caffeine, and in the last month and a half or so, the ridiculous heat that’s been sweeping over Germany. I don’t deal well with heat at the best of times, and my brain eventually turns to much when I’ve been sweating since 8 am. Surprisingly enough, 20 minutes or half an hour of knitting before Spanish helped more often than not, even in the summer heat. I knit on three pairs of socks in between my Pre-Socatic Philosophers class and Spanish, on Haruni, the TARDIS cowl, and on most of the smaller pieces of the Girl Friday cardigan.

Then there’s the not inconsiderable factor that I fancy the pants off my teacher. Most of the time, my pathetic little crush is useful, it’s a great motivator and it keeps things interesting even if people ask the same mundane question for the fifth time. But I’ll admit that yes, I’ve knit quite a bit to distract me from all the naughty things I’d like to do to her.

Today, I knit because I was close to snapping. My written Spanish exam went surprisingly well, even the hearing comprehension. And then came the free text, which is my forte. Usually. Except I took too long, because somehow even after two years of uni, I’m still used to 4-hour-exams where I can take my time, except today I couldn’t, and I didn’t make the minimal word count. And consequently freaked out.

I wrote a hysteric email to my teacher as soon as I set foot in the apartment, and she calmed me down – apparently the worst that can happen is that I lose a single point, not more. But all the way back home, and the wait for her reply – oh god, I was so freaked out. But in the tram, I pulled out my Teal Hat, which worked its calming magic a little (because that’s what hand-knits do, especially for me), and then I pulled out my sock, and I mechanically knit while staring a wide-eyed thousand-yard stare. It kept me from screaming. From crying. From completely losing it, right in the middle of the tram, from the sheer terror.

I know it’s kind of an exaggerated reaction. It’s not the end of the world, and even if I botched it, it’s still just Spanish. But I’ve put so much work into it the last two semesters, there’s the pressure of following up last semester’s good grade, and… there’s the control issue.

I ran out of time. Time allotted by someone else. I had no control over it. If I’d had just five more minutes, I could’ve gotten the 200 words easily. But it was out of my hands.

Sometimes I just need that extra bit of control.

So I knit.


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§ 5 Responses to Pick a star on the dark horizon

  • Toile says:

    I guess that ‘I knit so I don’t kill people’ kinda applies in this situation. Make yourself a cup of tea, and knit for a while. It’s going to be okay.

  • wollphilie says:

    yeah, I’m trying that right now, and usually it helps… except today, I’m petrified with fear of my oral Spanish exam. which is… tomorrow. spine-chilling, cold-sweat-inducing, crippling fear. it’s ridiculous. but even though I know it’s ridiculous, even knitting doesn’t help. ugh.

  • Toile says:

    I don’t get nervous/afraid of tests/exams. I’m more one to freak out of minor things in the days before a big test. I tend to burst into tears if I can’t find something.

    You’re going to be fine.

    And is the title of this post from the Doctor Who episode with Madame de Pompadour?

  • wollphilie says:

    I don’t usually get afraid, either. A little nervous, yes, but the helpful kind of nervous that gives you that extra edge. But for some reason, I’ve been terrified of that oral exam all semester. I don’t even know, man.

    And no, the title is from the Regina Spektor song ‘The Call’, the title song for Narnia: Prince Caspian. Gorgeous song, really. But it does fit with the DW episode… good call!

  • Toile says:

    Good luck!

    I love that song :). My version is *coughcoughpiratedcoughcough* crappy, and starts later than the actual song. Regina’s in midword when it starts :/. I love the Narnia books, and the movies :).

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