Well heavens where do I begin. I've now completed my degree, well almost, I have one last 5000 word assignment to write this weekend. I have crammed a three year degree into two... my brain is fried but I have discovered new and exciting ways to procrastinate. In fact if there were Olympic medals for it I would be up there on the podium. I did discover a tiny little hitch early on when I was informed that my particular writing style was not especially adapted to academia. Lecturers are a tad stuffy at times I have to say I do recall one of them telling me;
'you're not an academic are you St Jude!'
'hell no my dear,' I smiled, 'but I am terribly good at canapes and cocktails... oh and by the way plaid is so last season, actually my dear it is so last century.'
She was a game old bird and took it on the chins well. She did make me realise however that my lifestyle and writing style would have to alter considerably. So I put my party frocks into mothballs and dusted down my laptop, signed on at the local uni library and set the little grey cells to study mode. Although I may at first glance appear to be somewhat soft and fluffy I do in actual fact have an underlying rod of iron however there have been times when my resilience has been sorely tested.
During the first year of my studies I had numerous lectures and training courses to attend with assignment dates descending thick and fast, at one stage almost monthly. I was also expected to carry a case load and still attempt to find the time and energy to enjoy fleeting moments with my family. By the end of the first Spring his Lordship told me I needed a holiday. White sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, turquoise sea and my own personal concierge to wait on my whims. Bliss! So I immediately agreed. Over the following weeks I could hardly contain myself waiting for the moment when I would step from the plane onto some wonderful exotic land. My first doubts were raised when his Lordship told me that we were going shopping for the holiday. His Lordship does not do shopping other than when gadgets or 'equipment' is involved. This was equipment shopping.
Now forgive me for being a little dim and slow on the uptake, but I did rather have my mind on other things at the time. I nodded inanely when the lady in the shop showed me the pretty pink thermals with the lacy bottoms, I haplessly stood like a mannequin when she dressed me in sallopets and jacket. I even giggled when she rammed what can only be described as something akin to a dead cat on my head telling me I looked a picture. Of what I can only now imagine, and this is when his Lordship broke the news to me, I was heading for the Arctic. There would be polar bears he assured me, lovely, 'do they serve cocktails?' I enquired.
Our Arctic sojourn over I threw myself back into my studies, my case load was increasing and I was now dealing with some thoroughly nasty and dangerous characters. By the Autumn I was starting to feel a little drained. By early December of 2008 I was in two minds as to whether I could actually pull this off. Then in mid December my rod of iron made me aware that there was some serious corrosion happening. My best friend left me, she had it transpired been ill for many months but she had kept it from me. She had been there for me through some of the worst times of my life and the best. Her name was Tyke. The vet tried to save her for four days but in the end I had to do the 'right' thing and let her go. So on 9th December 2008 I said my final farewell. On 10th December I came down with a bout of flu that almost called a halt to my dream and would take several months to recover from.
I had two assignments due in at the end of January 2009 and I had to write them from my sick bed. His Lordship was wonderful, he brought me tea, in my favourite china of course, he brought me food, even when I didn't feel hungry and patiently tried to get me to eat it, but most of all he carried the huge tomes from which I was working back and forth to the bedroom and helped me to research for my assignments. I got them in on time. Two weeks later I received an email from the plaid clad lecturer:
Morning St Jude
just reading through your assignments and I have to say I am somewhat disappointed with them. (Oh really! a slight clenching of the jaw.) You have obviously put some effort into them, however I am not happy with your referencing style. (What? But it is the same one I have used for all of my assignments to date, maybe some teeth grating now.) I do not believe that to my knowledge two of the books you have referenced are on the reading list, I think Ms St Jude you will find that neither Jonathan Livingstone Seagull or The Tao of Pooh are considered authoritative texts on Social Learning Theory. (Urm!!! Spitting feathers).
I can only imagine how her chins thrust skywards in triumph as she hit the send button. It transpires that in one of my less coherent moments I thought that it would be my civic duty to unstuff the plaid clad lecturer and so I replaced all of my references in my assignments with references from such notable works as The Tao of Pooh, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Hobbit. His Lordship had discovered this and bless him came to my rescue by putting back the original references unfortunately it appears he missed a couple.
To be cont...
(I have not given much detail about our Arctic trips as you would be reading this post until Christmas if I did, and I am sure that none of you can afford to be sat on your bottoms for so long. I will be posting separately about those trips over the coming weeks.)
2 hours ago