As some of you know I finished my last module for my Art History degree with the Open University this spring. I started way back in 2006 not really knowing what I wanted to study but certain I wanted to work towards a degree. My first module, an introductory one, covered lots of different subjects including History, Literature, Classical Studies and Art History. The module was really interesting and to my surprise I really enjoyed the Art History sections and I decided that was what I would focus my degree on.
Looking back an awful lot has happened during my time as an Open University student. We have moved house twice, Fizz became part of our family, there have been big changes for both myself and Mr D at work, my Grandma passed away after a long illness, I've gained new friends and learnt new skills. Through it all my focus on gaining a degree with the Open University has been unwavering despite the stress and hard work involved. I have studied such a wide range of topics from Renaissance art to 20th Century art and written dissertations on two completely different themes (cadaver tombs in England and 20th Century public sculpture!). I was also lucky enough to attend Queen Mary's University, London for a weeks residential module - shattering but absolutely brilliant.
My final module finished in March this year with an exam in a very wet Nottingham. After the exam I felt a mixture of relief that (results pending) this was my degree finished and fear in case I had messed up! I need not have worried, I passed and was awarded a 2.1 BA (Hons) in Humanities with Art History at the end of April.
I graduated last Friday at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. While I have had several months to come to terms with being awarded my degree it hadn't really sunk in that after all those years I have finished! I still expect the next module's books to land on my doorstep and to feel the excitement of starting a new module. So arriving in Manchester with Mr D and donning my robes was all a bit odd! I'm also the first in my family to get a degree so my parents, when they arrived at the hall, were a little bit shocked by the whole thing despite my efforts to prepare them!
Video clip of the academic procession
Sitting waiting for the ceremony to start with fellow graduates it finally started to sink in that this was it.... I had done what I had set out to achieve back in 2006! As the ceremony started there were a lot of us in tears as it brought home what we had achieved. Recognition was also given to the support provided by close family and friends which set us all off in tears again! I'm pleased to report that, despite the emotions, I didn't fall up the steps when it was my turn to be presented on stage but there were more tears at the end when all of us stood and were applauded for our achievements. It was such a proud moment standing there seeing my Mum, Dad and Mr D clapping and waving away. And then it was over as we all walked out behind the Open University mace, the pro-chancellor and academic staff.
It was then Fizz's moment of glory with her Mum! She has had to put up with me huffing and puffing, talking to myself and the odd tear while I have been working through my modules, assignments and revision notes! As you can see she was completely overcome with emotion yawning away! That pretty much ends the day - I was physically and emotionally exhausted and just about managed to eat some pizza and have a glass of wine on the way home!!