It is November. I am presently almost half way through the first term of the second and final year of my Masters degree. I still feel like a fraud. I don't belong in a lecture theatre with such intellect and I fear that one day someone will stand me up in the middle of the class, pull down my pants and proceed to point and laugh at me and call me an imbecile while I stand there, shaking from the horrific truth of the situation. My poor sense of self-worth obviously still haunts me, I fear it will never leave and we seem to have developed a strange symbiosis now. I am blighted.
Much has come and gone since I last posted but I shall edit out the gash and mention only one - I graduated. Almost nine years to the day since I embarked on my further education escapade I graduated with honours at Manchester Bridgewater Hall with my beloved in the audience giving me (I hope) rapturous applause. It was an emotional day filled with pomp and circumstance and for a lot of the students in attendance it was the final curtain on what may have been a lengthy and emotionally trying event for them. But for me it was simply a formality to confirm the permission to jump from one stepping stone to the next. It was a handshake that said "yes, you were allowed to make that leap 12 months ago, go forth and study harder".
In the time since my last mental out pour I have both progressed AND regressed. True, I am now halfway through my Masters degree. But also true is that I have begun another Bachelors degree. It occurred to me upon completion of my Open Degree that it resembled a 6p mix-up in its construct. Over the course of the degree I had picked up the following:
- DD100: An Introduction to the Social Sciences. This was my white chocolate mouse -1p - firm favourite and always a good starting point for a successful mix-up.
- A211: Philosophy & the Human Situation. This is more a sour cherry - 1p - some people love them, some hate them, guaranteed to make your face squirm up in discomfort.
- AA308: Thought & Experience, themes in the Philosophy of Mind. This is like a sour fizz bomb - 1p - those who don't like sour cherries simply cannot understand why you'd pick a sour fizz bomb straight after the facial contortions of a sour cherry. I consider it a test of endurance.
- DD305: Personal Lives and Social Policy. Definitely the cola bottle - 1p - an average all-rounder, no one objects to picking one out but it doesn't really get your taste buds tingling.
- Transferred credit: Foundation Degree in Quantity Surveying. This is my pontefract cake - 2p - I don't even like liquorice but it got offered for free and I'm never one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
So no real coherence within the degree; no theme running through it, just a mash-up of bits and pieces that don't make sense together. So I've gone back to the proverbial sweet shop and started again. This time I'm concentrating my efforts on a BSc in Criminology & Psychological studies (would that be like a bag of chocolate eclairs - they look quite fancy and special but really everyone's eating them...). I wasn't even considering torturing myself again as an undergrad but I got caught up in the heat of the transitional fees moment and registered, somehow convincing myself that I'd be stupid not to do another undergraduate degree since it was being offered at the 'old rates'. My logic truly defies logic although I'm sure it made sense at the time. *sigh*.
So here I am again. I'm either an under-postgrad or a post-undergrad depending on which makes most sense to you. The time is almost upon all post grads aiming to take this madness one stage further - it's doctorate application time. Soon doctoral training centres and postgrad departments the length and breadth of the country will be inundated with proposals from students desperate to eek out their love of education just a smidgen longer and eager to dedicate three years of their lives to a quest for specialised knowledge.
I aim to be one of those desperate students. In that case I ought to decide on a proposal topic.