I t’s September 2012, the day the students arrive. There is a nervous excitement in the building and everybody feels it, from the chefs, to the finance department, and certainly us teachers. 115 students arrive on this Monday afternoon from around the world, about 25 different countries, to start their new life at the European Film College.
Most will live on campus like me. They will work harder than probably ever in their lives, make many ambitious films, take creative and personal risks, challenge their preconceptions , find out who they are outside of their own culture, away from their family and friends, as individuals. The 9 months that they are here will feel like a lifetime, but it will go incredibly quickly. Time warps, much like it does in the first year of parenthood.
I know it feels like this because I did it too, 13 years earlier. It was the first day of the best and most creatively fulfilling year of my life, up until the day you were born. I feel incredibly privileged to be on the other side now, to be a part of the team that is invested in giving these students an experience like mine. It is a great responsibility, and one I have put above all else for the past three years. There is an emotional rhythm to the year, almost a narrative arc, and I understand it well now so I hate to be leaving the story before the end. If there was a way to see it through I would, but there really isn’t. I will be the best teacher I can be until Christmas time and then hand everything over.
My sister Charlotte has a name for her baby, Alexander. He’ll be along three months before you.
I don’t have time to think much about the future. All my energy goes to surviving the present. But there is great joy in the everyday.
I am grateful for the friendships I have here. I’m alone and away from my family, but I have this community and I can only continue because of them. I begin to feel that, with their support and friendship, it might be possible to come back.
20 weeks, time for the second scan. I’m so nervous and excited to see you again, to hear your heart beat again.
It’s November. Charlotte and I check in regularly as her due date approaches. I long to go home. In only a month, I will. And soon after that, you will arrive too.
"I’m so nervous and excited to see you again, to hear your heart beat again."
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Music by Quobe, Silence is Sexy and Chris Zabriskie.
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