It’s been a bit of an odd week at college. Mainly because I have not been there much. I also missed both my work experience days at Nymans and Hampton Court this week and it’s made me feel out of sorts.
With the Easter break just around the corner (though a classmate reliably informs me that we have roughly eight assignments to do during the holidays, so perhaps the word ‘break’ should be redefined), I finally succumbed to the lurgy. I had lurgy in October, but battled through and didn’t miss any college. This was helped by only having light physical tasks to do that week. However, this time there was no such luck. I woke up with a sore throat Sunday morning and BOOM I was down. I reflected on a plant science lesson in which we learnt about cell structures. In a slight tangent to the syllabus, our teacher explained about mitochondria in humans. I can’t remember the detail right now, but I know viruses make you tired because of their impact on the power houses of our cells – mitochondria. I saw an extreme example at my last workplace when a colleague returned to work after having swine flu. He was still recovering, but with bills to consider and knowing that we were not entitled to sick pay during our six month probation period, he struggled into work. In the end, an ambulance had to pick him up from the office and fortunately he made a full recovery from post-viral fatigue. Happy days.
Even though I’m a volunteer and I pay to study my course, I feel guilty. Most of us do when we have to call in sick. We are worried it will look bad, show a lack of commitment or let down our colleagues who have to pick up the slack. In my previous role there was a key performance indicator linked to attendance on which we were appraised. Perhaps losing my job in a recession has increased the fear factor, even though I have no job to lose.
It does concern me that I am entering a world that needs you to be fighting fit. In a week where I have been under the weather and two of my horticulture buddies have been absent or will soon be absent through no fault of their own, it is certainly a vulnerability I need to consider and minimise. Then again you can’t protect yourself from needing your appendix whipped out or having your arm surgically rebroken because it wasn’t set correctly the first time. (Those two boys better make a quick recovery and get back to class after the holidays. It won’t be half the fun without them).
All this points to me needing to take some time to relax. Stepping from a job straight into a new course, moving back home and homework in the holidays may have taken its toll. I’m going to give myself a few days off in the next couple of weeks. I’m going to start with a day out at RHS Wisley. Not to learn about plants, but to enjoy it (osmosis learning is permitted) and pop up to Putney for the boat race, weather permitting. Then I will be ready for the summer term.
Enjoy your Easter break.