Turnip Farming – By @AliceShedd2

Turnip Farming 

Do you remember how when smart phones first came out, it was common wisdom that you should drain the battery fully every day to maintain its health, to never plug it in unless it was on the verge of death? And then as we grew more accustomed, we began leaving our phones on, never to die, ever on life lines so they could never leave us cast out in the dangerous realms of unreachability?

That’s exactly what my head has felt like all this year. Always abuzz, full of stresses constantly maintained, and never totally emptied.

These past two weeks at SCA have in contrast felt like the good old days of ios4. My battery has been fully drained every day, and i’ve found myself gasping to be plugged into the wall charger several hours earlier than I have done in very many years.

My screen time has gone from an embarrassing Gen Z total of 7 hours right down to an average 2hours & 20 minutes, and trust me when I say that at least 3/4 of those are spent rabidly typing up every piece of wisdom dropped from the mouths of the mentors I’ve had audiences with every day.

I feel fucking knackered as each day ends, like some sort of farmer after an autumn harvest day, having got on his knees and manually plucked turnip after turnip from the soil for eight hours straight. Or something like that.

The down-and-dirty, working-with-your-hands metaphor extends further in explaining how these school days have felt: not since I was at primary school playing with glitter, dried pasta and glue have I made so many tangible things. It’s so gratifying to be told to do something and, pardon the obvious cliche, to just do it. 

I feel alive with the making of things, the concrete outcomes, the sudden switch from’ i probably could’ to ‘i just did and i could again’. 

After a degree filled with theory and research and reading and more reading and waiting a week for feedback, the instanteity of it all feels excellent; to shrink down the life cycle of idea, production, completion to so much smaller than i’m used to. 

To extend the earlier metaphor, the end of every day feels like someone swiping shut all of the tabs on my homepage, emptying my hard drive entirely and pressing the actual off button on my side; not just locking me and leaving me alert on the bedside table.

Who knew I was into manual labour? 

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