Yes, I know the UK also includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Island, but England had more of a ring to it, certainly when you were talking about that particular part of the UK. Now it's down to the UK. And I guess the slogan these days is "The sun never sets on the United Kingdom," which is both pathetic and untrue.
But I digress.
I just missed my third graduation ceremony in a row. I missed high school because I was framed by someone else's prank. (Yes, I did one of my own but mine wasn't grave enough to not participate in the ceremony.) I missed the ceremony for my BA in German from the University of California, Santa Barbara because I'd actually graduated mid-year and wasn't interested in going back for the June ceremony. But the one in Brighton I'd intended to make. In fact going through the ceremony was one of my motivations for going to grad school. I thought it would be fun to dress up as an academic. And some kind of completion. However, for a variety of reasons, my attendance at that theatrical event was not to be. I'd hoped to at least watch it on the Internet since they streamed it live. But it didn't start until 2:15 am my time. Apparently my dedication wasn't as great as I neede
Fortunately, grad school turned out to be fun on its own. I had a wonderful time. My left brain got its full and my right brain frolicked too. I want more. No, not a PhD, but at least more classes...from somewhere sometime. And I've developed a taste for reading and writing academic papers. I'll keep doing that. And, thanks to Professor Tara Brabazon, three of my papers will be chapters in upcoming textbooks.
So I've now graduated from the University of Brighton with a Master of Arts (Distinction) in Creative Media. I've never even been to Brighton (although I likely passed right by it on a Vespa many years ago when traveling from Southampton to the Channel ferry in Folkestone.
My Brighton courses were all done at a distance. I had copies of all the required readings, I had access to online journals, I had email and Skype contact with my professor, there were online discussions (using that pathetic Blackboard software), and towards the end Tara was kind enough to record seminars and send the audio files to me. And I had access to all kinds of web-based services to use in creating a variety of projects.
So I was as much "there" as I could be. Some day I'll take my family to Brighton and we can see my alma mater and I can tell them about old times there. At least virtual old times.
In the meantime, thanks Tara, thanks Kathryn and Joanna.