What A Week

graduationIt was my graduation on Monday.

I had booked my cap and gown, RSVP’d and panicked for months about walking across a stage in front of hundreds of people.

Conundrum – should I look at my feet when I walked or look straight ahead and hope for the best?

MS foot-drop is sneaky.

I got there early, accompanied by my best friend and boss (an honorary title) and we picked up programmes to flick through while we waited. I found my name (Masters Distinction!) then idly looked at the Awards pages. Erm, my name was there – it’s quite unusual, so it stood out – and I was there, with the MA Humanities Award for academic excellence.

Well. I beamed from ear to ear. I showed the boss, who looked as surprised as I did, given he’d seen me weeping over endless essays, surrounded by books and empty coffee cups on a regular basis. Or more often than not, on the sofa, poleaxed by fatigue. I felt a huge sense of … achievement. And something more than that – the feeling that I had put MS in a box, that I had done it despite everything it had chucked at me.

All too soon it was time to fetch my gown. My cap was too small (big head?) and I faffed around with grips to keep it in place. Then suddenly I was in the hall, and then walking in a snake-line towards the stage. Whoah. I duly handed in the slip of paper I’d been given to the booming announcer and there you go, I was walking – slowly, carefully – across the stage. I shook someone’s hand, grabbed my certificate and then the nearest banister.

It was a brilliant ceremony, despite my fears. And the week just got better. On Wednesday, I found out my dissertation story had been long-listed for an award, and I’m keeping everything crossed for the short-list. Not only that, The Teenager wangled free tickets to the Coldplay concert (I don’t know how he does it; inherited charm?).

Sadly though, it’s back to earth with a thud. My days are once again filled with concrete, roof joists and leaking buckets. From the lofty heights of academia to underground sewage pipes, the life of a building project manager is rarely exciting. But in the back of my mind, I’m replaying the moment I discovered my name in the Awards pages …

P.s. Don’t panic – I haven’t suddenly had a baby. The photo is of me and the boss with my friend’s son #cute

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10 thoughts on “What A Week

  1. Ian says:

    Well done and lovely photo

  2. Teresa McTernan says:

    Congratulations…Fabulous result. Let us know if the short story gets published so can take a look. You looked really well too!!! x

  3. Nanette says:

    Congratulations to a wonderful lady.
    Super picture and a grand degree.
    More writing please for your honesty and openness helps others.
    There are a number of novels waiting in the wings I am sure.
    So proud to know you.You and teenager are special.

  4. Annie says:

    Many congratulations and well deserved … keep on writing ? Ps I have a big head too… so annoying … hats look totally ridiculous on me ? Great photo of you x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you! Yup, I’d love to wear berets and woolly hats in the winter but I just look a bit silly 🙁

  5. Aduke Onafowokan says:


    Many congratulations on your momentous achievement, and then some! Fabulous in every way.


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