Monday, 22 June 2009


It was very odd that almost exactly a year after submitting my dissertation I finally received my certificate of graduation. It was also a bit odd that it was half in Welsh because of being accredited through Lampetter - having only ever travelled to Salisbury to attend modules and tuition. Apparently I've been entitled to use the letters after my name since receiving the letter in December but I'm not sure that, apart from in Minutes, I shall use them. Should I?

I'm really grateful to have had the chance to study, with a lot of financial support and time support from the Church - I'm also very very grateful that now I've returned to Circuit work I got the MA out of the way!

My twin sister and kid brother and I both left school without A levels and have all gone on to do second degrees. When I remember that I think it is okay to feel proud of myself and my siblings - we have all worked and studied and dealt with family life. At home doing a degree was never talked about - University was for posh people who lived in private (non-council) houses and no-one else in the family had gone on to higher education. So I should feel pretty pleased with myself - but I can't get away from the fact I'm still not sure I'm really an 'academic', just someone who can get a few ideas down on paper and back them up with the wisdom of other people. So I don't know how much impact adding the letters MA to the end of my name will have in terms of my own self image and confidence - but I know it could open a few doors even though I'm not planning to go through them!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Shame and faint comfort

I realise that the blogosphere will be chocca with despair about the European elections, so I won't say much other than:

Shame on those who did not vote.
Shame on women who did not vote - other women were imprisoned, tortured and gave their lives so that we can exercise our rights.
Shame on men who did not vote - do millennia of patriarchal rule not give you any sense of responsibility?
Shame on our politicians who have allowed politics to become a dirty word.
Shame on the media who no longer describe the world, but shape it and order it according to the whim of editors, owners and shareholders.
Shame on me for not saying and doing more to cast light on truth.

There may be some comfort in these words:

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. (Isaiah 40.21-24)