Times are changing

P1020054

I thought I could do with writing a catch up blog as I suddenly realised I’ve been absent for a very long time on WordPress.

Life has moved on considerably since I last posted…. As you can see I finally graduated from the lovely University of Glasgow – I am now (somehow) the proud owner of a 1st class MA (hons) in Philosophy. The blood, sweat and tears was all worth it when I opened up that results email and saw I’d got the 1st! I’m experiencing some post-graduation blues now but it’s all just part of the journey I think; after so many years of truly difficult work I guess I just feel at a loose end. I have no definite plans yet apart from saving up to go travelling as much as possible and home schooling my wee monkey for a long as I can (or at least for as long as she wants me too anyway).

I’ve also moved house back to the Manchester area – a tiny bit reluctantly as I completely fell in love with Glasgow and Scotland whilst I was there – however it was time for a change and my new circumstances should give me the opportunity to save more money and really have the future I want for me and my daughter. I’m hoping to get loads of new photo opportunities by exploring the surrounding areas of the Pennines, Lake District, Cumbria and Wales.

For now it’s just time to relax, re-centre myself and get used to my new found freedom. I can’t seem to get used to the fact I have nothing much I really have to do, and I’m already looking at volunteering (to put the tefl qualification to good use), and maybe learn a language or two! I want to re-focus my energies into my photography and try to take that more seriously now as well! Daunting but all very exciting too….

Thanks so much for sticking with me throughout all the stress – my wee WordPress community has given me much comfort and support and I hope my followers will continue to follow me into the future whatever it may hold.

How big should a safety net be?

Casting-a-Net-IrrawaddyI’m such a lazy blogger – I know this! I’ve been putting it off and putting it off and really it’s just because things have been ticking along nicely. It’s not much to write home about I’m afraid.

I’ve finally finished the grammar section on the TEFL course so I’ve just started off on the methodology section. I’m hoping to get this done a bit quicker if I’m honest. I really need to discipline myself to at least an hour a day and more if I can. I’m about to start doing the research for my dissertation, as it’s a frightening 2 ½ months until I go back to uni. I’ve also been getting on well with driving – apparently I can do perfect manoeuvres, including a perfect 1st attempt at parallel parking. However I’m rubbish at clutch control – as always it’s the small things I struggle with so nothing new there. I’ve been known to get the most complex of stuff straight away and be flummoxed by the beginner stage of whatever it is that I’m learning. So this is the mission for next weeks lesson: get to grips with the stupid clutch!

The only thing I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is a bit of an inner dilemma I’m having about how big a back up plan a person needs. To explain that a bit better – Now I’ve decided that I want to travel I’m so focused on that, that I’m reluctant to apply for the usual graduate jobs in case I get sucked into the trap of feeling obligated to take them as it’s secure money etc etc. But it also feels quite scary to not apply for anything throughout the whole of my final year just in case the worst happens and for any reason at all I can’t go travelling and then find myself jobless, with another year to wait before I can apply for all the schemes.

How big should my safety net be? This question has been bothering me for a while.

My plan up until now has been to move back to Manchester and take an opportunity I have to live with a friend without the massive expense of rent and bills in order to save up for roughly a year or maybe 18 months so I fund a RTW trip and have some money behind me to then settle wherever life takes me without having to immediately worry if I’m not making a full time wage straight away. I guess it just feels kind of scary to let all the deadlines go by for the jobs and the graduate schemes without applying for a single one even though that if I follow my dream I’d turn them all down anyway. So what I’ve decided is that whilst in Manchester for a year or more I may as well apply for the Masters at the University – there’s an interesting one called an Ethics and Political Philosophy MA. I don’t think I’d go for the Mres as it’s so geared up towards getting you to write a PhD proposal and I feel it’d be super stressful whereas the ethics and political one is my main area of interest and actually sounds kind of fun. There is a bit of funding available at Manchester too, whereas in Glasgow there’s none for a Masters. So my back up plan if the travelling never happened would be that I could always go for the doctorate if I did well. Pretty nice sounding back up plan in a way hey?!

The bonus as well is that I know having a degree and an MA can be hugely beneficial in getting a visa to some countries especially if they operate a points based system. So I know Hong Kong gives you lots more points for every degree and MA you have, and the University teaches in English. Glasgow philosophy department is actually linked to Hong Kong University so I know I could apply there to study in the future if I decided it was a route I wanted to travel down. Also the MA would be good as a bridge between philosophy and sociology. I adore philosophy but I think deep down it’s sociology and in particular visual sociology I’m very interested in – I’d love to do a big photographic project whilst travelling with a sociological theme to it for example and then possibly take something like that further academically….

I guess what I’m saying is that I need to just take this leap, don’t apply for the jobs that will take me too far from the path I truly want to follow, but I’ve realised that if there’s something I can do whilst directly working towards my goal that can act as a back up plan – well I’d probably be daft not to do it – I should be grabbing all the opportunities I can and accepting all the help offered to me.

So that’s how big my safety net should be – big enough to make me feel secure but small enough it doesn’t ruin the view I have of mine and my daughters future.