Spent a good day with one of my best friends, a fellow BA English (qualified) student, who I met on another course I was on many years ago. We were discussing the MA - I had mentioned it to her and she was interested in it herself. I asked her that since she qualifed eleven years ago, did she feel that the BA had changed her in any way. She said that on the work front - no. She had stayed in retail, but she said it had felt good getting the qualification. She had done it out of her ownself interest, which is fine. She had experienced depression half way through the second year and was just happy to plod til the finish line. There are many things you can say that I am but, hey, at least I have a BA etc.
Right now, I can identify.
I know that people further their education for many different reasons - better employment prospects, self interest etc. But why am I doing mine? I have thought about this more recently and I think the answer is that I wanted to rid myself of the stigma of being so underqualified at everything. Life experiences and tin pot jobs - yes, but nothing significant that I felt would adequately represent ME. I had been robbed of so much education when I was a youngster and was so angry and bitter about it. My predicaments seem to be index-linked directly back to making choices as a scared and lonely teenager. I wanted to break out and redefine myself - not as Hubby's wife, P1 & P2's mother, A's sister, J & G's daughter etc., plate-spinner and any other circus tricks a woman has to perform to get the family through.
Some people die at twenty five, but don't get buried until they are seventy five. Yup - I could understand that sentiment.
I was well-read, if ill-educated. I wanted to prove to myself and others that I was worth more. Doing the degree changed that status quo. I was taught how to see below the surface of texts and developed a skill for close text analysis, understand signs and semiotics. In some respect, I knew many of these things already, but the course gave the books an even deeper meaning and in some cases, a different understanding. I transmuted experiences and applied them to textual analysis - I wasn't so much writing as mining for detail.
Reconsider the MA in a couple of years, or not at all. What would I be trying to prove if I went for an MA? To top myself academically, or top myself mortally? Not sure. Perhaps I DO want a life back and not spend my time lashed to a chair, absolutely decimating books for blood sport. Or is it the end, I fear?
Today, I was given the satire books by my former classmate and an brief outline as to what to expect - say hello to Horace & Juvenal satires. In return, I got him a card wishing him a Belated Happy Birthday, Congrats re the BA English (Hons) and thanks for the books, plus a £20 book token. Made me think, though. Chats with my dentist, friend Diana and class mate Josh have reminded me that perhaps all I want for the time being is to get my final 60 credits and just enjoy the BA for a while. Read crap books, go out and find work that I enjoy, put my feet up, go on bloody holiday.
I can see the finishing line and it has taken me 5 years I just want it to still be sweet when I get there.