Thursday, October 19, 2006


The MA is now in week three. I am rapidly learning that a 'taught research degree' largely translates as 'teach-yourself a research degree' after being informed last night that we only have two lectures a term, and the rest is made up of dicussion-based seminars. This is all well and good, but the lovely, mild-mannered tutor I have was struggling to get a word in between two 30-something women in my group last night who spoke at pretnetious length, using indecipherable language, about modernism - with inane grins on their faces. Not only had they clearly 1) managed to read all the set texts for this week, but they had also clearly 2) understood them enough to 3) compare and contrast and 4) (this one really takes the biscuit) form opinions of their own. Show offs.

While I sat there silently in the seminar, doodling on my pad and wondering if that was a hole in the toe of my shoe, I found myself wondering - not for the first time - if this really is the right course for me. Not only have I never studied modernism before, but I also haven't even done an English degree before... I feel a bit overwhelmed. And those two precocious madams didn't help.

But a few drinks in the student union afterwards led me to learn two useful things. Firstly, the nicer, more normal people on my course feel exactly the same as I do (even though most of them have already done an English BA). And secondly, they all think those two girls were just a lot of hot puff. (One of said girls also came to the bar - and after initially deciding I hated her for making me feel so thick, I changed my mind as I felt she might be a useful person to know. I also learnt that not only is she a sociology teacher, but this is her second MA. I mean, why? Just do a PHD and have done with it. Or maybe she's just not bright enough...)

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