Altho' it's so long ago, I can still recall bits of orientation week back then. The women's adviser, whom because I thought that it was about time that I did the recommended thing, I went to see. She seemed annoyed to be disturbed and told me that my subject choices were rubbish and that I had no future other than to be a school teacher, so should only do Eng/history.
Only ever able to do bits of the right thing, I ignored her advice and did anthrop and Psychology as well as Eng: in fact is was the former two that gave me both freedom and employment. And I did philosophy, which she seemed to regard as as an indulgence like McDonald's Happy Meals.
On the other hand, I didn't do my other choice, archaelogy: and still regret and yearn for that.
I also remember some of the people I met then, in Orientation week, and I am thinking of D. She was a tallish, rangy convent school girl with short brown wavy parted brown hair. Not particularly pretty. but when I met her there was something so personal in her meeting that I thought: this is a very nice person.
Perhaps I particularly remember her because she kept popping up; before long her hair was golden, sparkling as dark subject to peroxide initially twinkles, and she and a handsome blond college boy were a dazzling couple. Before too long after that she had left him. She had left the hearties to join the arties.
She was not one of the most beautiful women around the place. S.U. was stacked with them: Tania Verstak became "Miss International" or something, but she was unremarkable around a place where there were many beautiful young girls. D was quite an attractive girl - aren't most young women? - but just that: "quite attractive." I don't think that anyone would have called her beautiful. But: she had a huge impact. She cut a wide swathe. I wonder, in retrospect, if any of it was due just to the fact that, when she met you, you felt as if it mattered to her. As it had felt when I met her.
This was an era in Syd Univ hot with such as Clive james, Germaine Greer, Robert Hughes ...(and all the other local buzzes).
5 or so years later...her hair like straw...(she looks so used, we used to say in our bourgeois way)...D still had that appeal.
She married "well", but in fact badly.
She was photoed inernationally. Life magazine. Or/And Vogue International..
As it all fell to pieces - as of course it does if you've grown up in a backwater and you are expected to be riding high waves in a big surf it will -that marriage ended . Just as Lawrence Olivier chose the miserable option of portraying a demeaning aspect of Vivien Leigh's last hours, so her internationally famous husband chose to record demeaning and degrading behaviours of D.
Reading it, I felt gratified that life hadn't offered me the opportunities that it offered D.
She returned to oz, lived and died, young, in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
I feel regret for her.
I feel regret that all her intelligence and all her knowledge, scholarship, intuitions went to nothing, evidently.