When I arrived at the class today, the first thing I wanted to know from Aisha was the result of her interview. She had attended it over a week ago, and they had promised her an answer by Wednesday. No, nothing, she said, for neither; not the Home Office (she is also awaiting the result of her asylum application interview), not the university. So I urged her to email at least the university, Ruskin College in Oxford.
When the class finally assembled – Tulsi is pathologically late – I gave them the section of the play which followed on from where we had stopped with Saturday’s reading. Some of it they had already seen, but there was also some new material; to my relief, this too was accepted as being a truthful enough summary of some very complicated sequences of events. I then moved on to interview the three protagonists of the play about some incidents from the final sections of their journeys, which I wanted to clarify and find some new details, before writing the end of the play. There will be one more session before I am away for four weeks, and I want to be able to give them a completed script before then.
Fortunately, I had interviewed Aisha first, and her recollections were done, when she received an email. There was a sort of shocked little noise, we looked at her, and she handed me her phone. There was a “You ought to have been contacted by the students services dept” (or somesuch) followed by the information that her application for a grant had been accepted, provided she enrolled on the course. Enrolment was tomorrow morning; would she be able to attend in person?
Now I’m not trying to claim any real credit for giving her a nudge, but it does seem to have been a bit of luck that I did. Fortunately, there was no real problem, for all the answers were at hand. I was going back to Ickford, she could come with me, we could feed her and put her up, before delivering her to the college tomorrow morning. And no I didn’t try to seek official permission for this course of action, not least because I wouldn’t know who to ask, and because in the end I was pretty sure that whoever it was would eventually agree that this plan would be the most sensible. We did, of course, inform the hotel and provided them with my address etc.
The journey home was long and difficult, with a long wait for the final train, but at last it was done. I asked Aisha if she liked fish, and she said very much, but that the hotel never served fish, and that she had not eaten it in England. So fish was what we had for dinner.