My Graduation: Anticipation by Sheila Johnson

I can hardly believe that in just 11 days time I will finally graduate. First degree? No, I did that over 40 years ago but I was out of the country for the graduation ceremony so there wasn't one for me. In fact, my mother never did get to go to such an occasion, although I have attended both of my son's graduations. This time, the tables have turned and my oldest son and my husband will be doing me the honours! The actual qualification isn't as grand as a degree, its just a certificate. A certificate in Creative and Critical Writing, but this is the first stage of an MA degree, at my local Gloucestershire University.

I had considered studying for an MA in Creative Writing for sometime, wondering if it was the path to greater success as a writer or not. Suddenly in the autumn 2020, with a pet-free house it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I looked forward to sitting in lecture theatres once again, engaging with young and bright students and hoping that I wouldn't show myself up. Well, that did happen in person for a couple of months when we all hoped that the pandemic had subsided but there then followed another even stricter lockdown and I actually finished all my lectures online. I had considered studying for the MA in its entirety, but found after one year my brain and my bank balance had been stretched enough and so I will now graduate in the certificate part of the course. I know that some of our ACW members have gone the whole way but now in my mid-sixties I feel I have done well to achieve this much, having also achieved a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism just over 20 years ago.

So at last I hope to get to wear the gown and mortar board, even if we can't shake hands in these Covid times. Though as one of the oldest on the course, I certainly won't be attending the all-night disco, slippers and a hot cocoa are now more the order of the day!

I will let you know how it went on my follow-up post next month...

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