A pupil from whom nothing is ever demanded which he cannot do, never does all he can. – John Stuart Mill
If you read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll likely know that the reason I started Food for Bookworms was to continue having literary conversations with book fans on the web after pining for the seminar discussions I so enjoyed during my undergraduate degree.
In fact, ever since graduating from Leicester I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that my academic career just isn’t over yet. I still underline and write marginalia in my books. I still keep a notepad nearby to write down thoughts as I’m reading. And I still try to seek out other keen readers wherever I go (as those who know me in “real-life” will attest to!). Whether it’s via Food for Bookworms, online courses or book groups, I’m simply not done with studying literature just yet.
That’s why since last September I’ve been studying part-time for an MA English degree at the University of Reading. And why I’ve been so quiet online!
I’m already well into my second term and I’ve loved each and every minute of it so far. It just feels right to be attending seminars again and to sit in the library for hours on end reading or writing essays. I may only have one class a week but my classmates are fantastic and the fascinating level of detail with which we’re studying texts is such a step up from undergraduate level. I find myself enthralled by the new (and sometimes obscure) texts we’re learning every week.
I think taking a break from studying has really made me appreciate university even more. Admittedly, I think I came close to passing out from panicking over my first essay last month and it is a bit of a test sometimes to sit down and study after 8 hours at work, but it now feels like I never had a break from university! Having just finished a whirlwind stop tour through literature from the 13th century to present day, I’m currently enjoying reading all kinds of forms and genres from the Victorian period.
I’m not sure if I will be reviewing my course texts on here but I will continue to share my thoughts on books I’m reading outside of my classes, as well as my experiences studying an MA while working full-time. Having survived my first term I think I have hit a good rhythm now so you should be seeing more regular updates!
Are you studying at the moment? Are you a student outside of work? Let me know your advice for juggling work and studying in the comments below!