Wednesday, 13 April 2016

My Masters - The First Year

I can't believe I am almost a year in to my degree already. Half way there. It is Twentieth Century History so it's a fast rollercoaster ride through the years; world wars, fascism, communism, The Cold War, Vietnam, 1956,1968, Thatcher, the EU, all the way up to 9/11.

Essays

My essay grades have bordered on distinction, bordered being the annoying part. However, I am hoping that my dissertation brings it up next year and I'll have my way. I have worked for it, I am trying my best!

Work/Life Balance

There is a good work/life balance. I am extremely busy. I cook, I clean, I am a mother. I work part time and I read when I can. I write. I research. I wash dirty clothes and I iron them. I take the kids to pantomimes, to the park, I buy them clothes and ice creams. I think about my studying a lot and listen to documentaries on the bus to work. I read sat on the toilet, I read in the bath, I read at the dining table. I think about what I am writing and where I am going with it a lot.

Uni has become less work, and more a part of me. It is who I am now. I have been doing this for almost seven years now and I feel like this is my busy peak. I am so busy that I am spinning and reeling from one thing to the next. I hate things that waste my time - time is so precious to me now, every minute counts.

Dissertation

Next year I will start to write my dissertation. As it turns out I have stumbled across a subject that has not been written about at all. It has real legs, real potential for PhD research - lots and lots of work surrounding socialist feminist movements in this country. I have found boxes and boxes of material to work with - it looks amazing, I am so excited to get started. My supervisors are also enthusiastic about this project - but I can't make a real start until the summer. Until I have finished one more essay. One last push.

Night Class

As I am studying feminist movements, I do need to learn more about the roots of feminism. It just so happened that there was a night class at the uni, and me being me, I decided to sign up. It's not enough for me to just read about it myself, I want direction, I need to talk about theory, concepts and motivation. The night class runs 6pm - 8pm Tuesdays, so Tuesdays are going to be very long for me. Work 8am - 2pm - Uni seminar 3pm - 5pm and then an hour break and then the night class. I am very much looking forward to it.

On Doing This

I am so very lonely. It sounds like I'm being very mardy and silly, but this is a very lonely life. I run from one task to the next and I can't settle on anything. I am constantly feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I do fit in at the uni. I love walking around the library and I am at ease in seminars and when talking to my tutors I feel like I belong there. On occasion I will feel slightly stupid, like what on earth am I doing here why am I doing this? But that feeling quickly passes and I realise that I can do this because I am and because I will.
Would I recommend you do this in my position? I would say think carefully. I feel like I have laid out a path for myself now. One that I want to travel, but a tough one nonetheless. I have been away from uni for 4 weeks now over the Easter break. It has been very tough. Nobody around me understands what I am doing. I can't talk to anyone about my research. No-one cares. I sometimes get the feeling that people think I am stupid, silly and when I am with people who I can talk to, who can hold a conversation with me about my subject ... I revert back to type and become silly again. Mentally, I struggle with myself. Loneliness plays a big part. Isolation, complete isolation.
I am back at uni next week and I can't wait. Doing this part time is very testing - I wish I could throw myself into this full pelt but I can't.
I have written about all of these feelings of identity crisis, change and feeling alienated. It is all here. 

Education is changing me, as I have written before. I can't go back to how I was I just have to keep moving forward, and the further down the line I go, the lonelier it seems.

I have decided that I definitely seriously need to consider full time education after this degree. Part time is too hard. I am too pushed and pulled in every direction - I am every person at once and I can't focus on what I want to do. Financially, I probably couldn't afford to give up work. Unless I got a funded PhD (highly unlikely.)

My steps next year will be to lay the foundations for my PhD and see where I go from there.

Anyone want to talk about Eduard Shevardnadze?

*rocks back and forth*








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