I'm unexpectedly reconsidering the timing of things with my postgraduate studies. I started the postgrad certificate (PGC) in creative writing this academic year, planning to do it over two years and then go onto the MA in September 2012. The PGC is 60 credits made up of three modules each of 10 credits and a portfolio/dissertation of 30 credits. When doing it over two years you do one or two modules in the first year, and the remaining module(s) and the portfolio in the second year. I was planning on doing two modules this year - I'm coming to the end of my second module at the moment (last class tomorrow evening) - and then hoping to top up my credits towards the MA next academic year while I finish the PGC, but it turns out that you can't do that. Apparently if you do well enough on the PGC then you get automatic acceptance onto the MA and exemption from part of part 1 of the MA as well, but in order to do these things then you have first to pass the PGC. I was discussing all this with someone in the Newcastle University English department admin office (someone who knows everything about everything in the department) and she suggested that I consider finishing the PGC this year and go onto the MA this September. Part of my planning to do the PGC over two years was due to my on-going studies with the Open University and not wanting to push myself too hard, and this is still very much a consideration, particularly as the End of Module Assessment (EMA) for the OU course is due in on 28th May and the EMA for what would be the final module for the PGC would be due in on 5th June, so not a lot of space between them. Then there's the fact that the PGC portfolio/dissertation would be due in by the end of August, which is fine, except that I will need some kind of break over the summer. At the moment I'm veering towards finishing the PGC this year, but I haven't yet made my final decision, though I do need to do so in the next week or so.
Decisions such as this would be so much less difficult to make if I could depend on my breathing and be sure that I could stick to a study schedule, but my life isn't like that and I can't guarantee that any plans of any sort that I make will be stuck to. It's frustrating. All I can be sure of is that at some point life will be interrupted by my asthma and I'll end up in hospital, but I can't know when this will be so I can't make plans around it, so instead I have to make plans and try to accept that not all will go ahead. I hate that though. I end up feeling like I've missed out ... which I suppose I have in a way. I don't want to end up feeling like that with my studies... I hope I won't have reason to...
I'm currently wondering when I'm next going to end up in hospital as it's been several weeks now since I was last discharged and my lungs are being rather temperamental. They're not anywhere near awful, but they're twitchy, unstable (as ever), wheezier than they sometimes are, and waking me a lot at night. None of those are good signs, but there's not a great deal I can do about it. I have an appointment in the morning with my consultant, though I don't expect anything much from it as there's never anything that can be done to help, but Dr H keeps an eye on things and makes sure I'm not in dire straights at the time that I see him. If only I could predict when those times of dire straights would be, that bit of life would be easier ;o)
Well, we shall see what, if anything, Dr H has to say tomorrow, and over the next few days I'll keep mulling over my future education options.