I wrote this about two weeks ago, but never got around to posting it...
It is funny, starting up again after the Christmas break...
The closest analogy I can think of to my experience of last semester is getting pegged in the head when fencing.
For those of you who do not know, I did rapier fencing for several years, and because of the heavy construction of a rapier blade, much of the force of a blow gets transmitted down to the end of the blade, rather than simply bending the blade sideways as it would with an Olympic epee or foil.
Getting hit is never much fun, and always hurts, but getting hit hard in the head is absolutely the worst. Your head snaps back, there is a burst of pain, and you end up completely disoriented. You stand there, dazed and confused trying to remember what in the world just happened. You don't know where you are, who you are, or what just happened. And within an instant you have to push all that aside, and throw yourself back into the fight to protect yourself, while most of you is still not quite sure just what is going on.
And, of course, because I'm way shorter than most of my opponents, my head was a fairly easy target, so I spent more than my fair share of time dazed and confused after being cracked in the head before I learned to keep my guard up really high!
I feel like I spent most of last semester getting smacked hard in the head by various things, and I think I went through a lot of it dazed and confused. And right now I'm warily eying this next term (my opponent?) keeping my guard high and really hoping I don't keep getting smacked in the head all this term too!
I guess it might be lucky that I tend to find the challenge of figuring out how to engage in the fight well somewhat energizing? I know I have better strategies, and now that I have the beginnings of a community here for support as well, I think over all, things will be much better. Well, the fight is about to begin, so: Bring. It. On.