You know when you can’t string a sentence together with MS and your brain goes foggy?
Yup? What better time to start a Master’s degree (insert smiley face here).
That’s the way I was thinking two years ago (MS does funny things to your brain).
Back then, MS was The Enemy Incarnate, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, and had to be defeated at all costs. I had been writing random blog posts for a while (still do, lol) and wondered whether I could write anything else. So, I looked around, called a few universities and signed up for a Master’s.
It was then that sheer terror set in. On many levels:
- MS – brain fog, memory issues, parking …
- Age – how would it be to go back to Uni when I was the old enough to tell the students off?
- Style – or lack thereof. How to pretend I fitted in. Scarf? Glasses? Something academic-y?
So, I got my mugshot taken for my ID card, shuffled along to the first meeting and wished I had shuffled right back out again. I was completely and utterly out of my depth, brand new notebook and pens notwithstanding. My fellow students used words like, ‘protagonist’ and ‘Stein-esque’.
My first attempt at a short story (about a decapitated mouse) was met with silence and a withering response. Too complicated, too long, too … strange.
The thing is. I wanted to give up. I went so far as to try to formally withdraw from the course. It wasn’t for me, obviously. I grew to hate my headless mouse and everything it stood for – a symptom of my failure.
But. I trucked along. I attended most of the tutorials, inspired by my fellow students. We critiqued each other in uniquely British-polite ways and nudged each other along the path to true creative writing.
And so I came to the dissertation.
Long story short, it evolved from a germ of an idea into a little pod. And with some nurturing from my friends, it grew into something I’m really proud of. It’s 10,000 words. Just had to get the critical essay done and that would be me – a Master’s.
My essay is terrible.
I have six weeks to turn it around and send the whole thing in.
Sounds like a lot of time, but every time I try to sit down and write (re-write):
- The cat is on my seat
- The plants need watering
- The fridge needs rearranging
- The Teenager needs an emergency cash injection
I will get there. I will purge my dire sentences, such as, ‘I pull no punches with my story’ and change them to something like, ‘with my narrative, I will not hesitate to draw upon brutal imagery’.
Doing this is my way of getting back at MS. I want to push my boundaries, explore new areas and prove to myself that I can still ‘Do’.
The January deadline is looming and keeps me awake at night, along with the usual nerve pain.
As for now, I’m off to organise my books into alphabetical order and clean my fork prongs with a micro-cloth.
p.s. I cannot end this post without a very special mention to the supremely patient Dr. Kate North, my dissertation tutor. Thank You.