As so many of you have followed my progress (slog? ;-)) along my academic journey in studying the Rhetoric and Ritual of Death, I am happy to be able to now officially share with you the contents of a little white envelope that I received on Friday last, in which it said that "I am pleased to inform you that at the recent meeting of the Faculty Examination Board, it was recorded that you had satisfied the requirements for the following award: MA in Religion with Distinction".
I can quite genuinely say that you could have knocked me down with a feather when I read that, a TOTALLY unexpected, but very, very pleasing outcome for me. It seems to have all been worth it, after all!
It has been a long, and sometimes bumpy journey for me, but it has also been life changing - both in the knowledge I have gained, but also - and perhaps more importantly - in the people I have met and will now always know, along the way. I have learned so much from them, as well as from the books I have read.
After my own opportunity to learn and be enriched, I can heartily recommend others who may have an interest in the subject to take a look at the truly unique course which I followed at the University of Winchester, which is available both by personal attendance, and online - so 'do-able' from wherever in the world you may be! For those closer to home, why not go along to the Second 'Death Day' at the University next May (2011) - you may be amazed at what you see and hear there. And if you are interested in the topic without necessarily wanting to take it further academically (yet), you can always join our Facebook group!
Now, in the next year, it is time to take my learning back out into the world and do something useful with it. At this fallow time of the year, when we can withdraw and contemplate - that is exactly what I am doing - thinking, mulling over, deciding how best to use this new knowledge. Lots to decide. For the moment, an amendment to my business cards, to add a couple of letters, seems to be at least permissible - and I have this to look forward to in November next year!