Time to begin again

2 09 2009

So…the summer was good.

Haven’t written much lately, partly due to the (pleasant) distraction of family and friends, facebook and finger-painting.

Okay I lied about finger painting.  I just liked the alliteration.

The point is, I figured that with my MLitt starting soon this would be perhaps the last chance I’d have to really chill out and not have to write.  The next two years I’ll be doing pretty much nothing else.

I’m looking forward to this, but still I indulged fully in having a proper summer break first. ‘Writers write’ they say, but I reckon good writers know when to make sure they still live enough to have something to actually write about.

The best news  is that the financial side of things has greatly improved.  I’ve just had official notification that I’ve been awarded a Carnegie Cameron Bursary.  This will cover almost all of my tuition fees.  Winning it has been a real boost, both to my confidence and to my determination to use this opportunity to its fullest.

So my blog will evolve this year.  It will become a repository, not only for my thoughts on writing but for setting down my experiences as a mature post-graduate student.

My journey has begun and I reach the first station in less than two weeks ‘Induction at Uni’.


Why is education only funded to a certain level?

6 04 2009

Good news, bad news. The good news, the amazing, wonderful news is that I managed to get an unconditional offer of a place in Glasgow University’s MLitt in Creative Writing.

Little old me, doing a master’s degree. Overjoyed isn’t the word.

And given fantastic reputation of Glasgow University, one of the top ten in the UK…how proud could i be?

The fees are £4k for the year.

But potentially I could apply for a scholarship and so I replied immediately. I sent off the information required to apply for a scholarship, I waited.

Last week I received the news. My application for a scholarship was unsuccessful.

Dreams shattered like cheap plates in the dishwasher.

In the UK, postgraduate education attracts very little in the way of government funding, far less than there are places. The poorest in society are ‘allowed’ to go so far in education but not too far. We have to know our place. Funding if we want to do good for society, be a teacher for example, but not if we are potential academics. Leave that to the ones with the power already.

My husband works in a factory to support me and the kids (while he studies for his own degree). Though we could just about manage for me not to earn for a year in order to study full time the fees are beyond us.

It’s so frustrating. If I were rich, if my husband or my parents were rich…I could take my place, take the place offered to me. But I’m not, we’re not. Poverty is standing in the way of me taking this wonderful opportunity. It’s not fair.