A brief interlude in our tales from Greenland. Today, I want to talk about my mum, because it's her graduation.
My mum didn't go to university when she finished school. The years passed, and I can only wonder how often she thought about going back to her studies. Three years ago, she finally left her job and enrolled as an undergraduate student of English Literature and Creative Writing.
It's hard work going back to uni when you've had a substantial period away from that kind of work. You have to re-learn some of your study skills and hone your essay writing. But my mum is a natural student, and an excellent writer, and she was determined to do well. In fact, she was determined to get a first class degree, which would secure her funding for postgraduate study.
I hope she won't mind my sharing one little story. A few weeks ago, after her last exam, my mum phoned me up sounding uncharacteristically dejected. The exam had gone badly - a lot of the things she'd planned to say had never made it from the pen onto the page. I'm sure everyone who's ever taken an exam knows that feeling. She was disappointed in herself, and ready to give up on her dreams of PhD study. I took a deep breath, wondered if I should be offering only sympathy, but instead told her in no uncertain terms to stop being so hard on herself. University exams, I promised, are not marked as strictly as essays written at home. Tutors know that there's a limit on how much you can write in the time limit. I'd already calculated how close she was to a first, based on the marks from previous modules, and it was too close to even contemplate giving up.
I was right.
So as my mum takes to the stage today to collect her first class degree certificate, I hope she knows she has the world's proudest daughter.
And mum...? I told you so.
Some of you already know that my mum is a blogger, too - she writes about her studies and writing, vegan cookery, crafts, gardening, house renovations... all sorts of interesting snippets. I'm sure she would love it if you dropped by to offer your congratulations.