The calm before the…?

After thinking long and hard about what to write in my last blog post before starting the MA, I decided to give a brief snapshot of what I’d been up to in preparation for beginning at Leeds. Now that I’m on the eve of the start of the module I’m feeling somewhat more reflective than usual, but I will briefly go into what I’ve been doing over the past year.

And that is…..reading and researching.  A lot of it. And hopefully in the right direction, as the image at the top of this blog post is one of all the books I’ve read in the past year. I thought I’d spend the majority of my time researching what I may (or may not) want to do for my dissertation and this brought me into contact with a lot of different topics, including amongst others: the Victorian asylum; the Black Death; bodysnatching (a real eye-opener!); the history of anatomy (love this); adventures in brain surgery; Greek & Roman medicine and end of life issues.  I even took the serious stuff away with me when we went to Santorini.  There’s nothing quite like reading about anatomical dissection whilst relaxing in 30 degree heat but at least I did prove to myself that I was serious about it.

In a brief nutshell (believe me, the first draft of this blog was twice this size, this really is the nutshell version) I’ve:

  • been on a few fact finding missions across the M62 to Leeds, both to see how long it will take me and also to enjoy the fab shopping they have there (much better than Manchester)
  • bought enough new stationery to rival Paperchase (see my previous post on planners here)
  • attended a fantastic History Masterclass in York on Henry VIII with the fab Dr Suzannah Lipscomb and Dr Sam Willis
  • spent more hours than I care to admit on my new Twitter addiction (@debsadac 😉 )
Suzannah, Sam & me

So now I am literally raring to go, before I buy any more entirely unnecessary bits of stationery and here’s a (very) small selection of it, in all its prettiness:

I’ve also been contemplating how to move forward with this blog and what I want to get out of writing it.  To be honest, I’m not too sure.  And how often I am able to post remains to be seen, depending on my spare time but I’m hoping to blog about the course from time to time. I’ve cleared my diary for the next 11 weeks ready to go into studying hibernation as I’m so far out of my comfort zone at the moment that it’s scary.  And I know that waking up at stupid o’clock and not getting the recommended 8 hours sleep a night (does anyone actually get that?) is not great and that’s not really helping with the jitters either.

With the OU I knew exactly what to expect and exactly how to go about life whilst studying and this one will be a steep learning curve I think but the same was also true of the OU when I started there and that turned out just fine.

So…what happens in the future? I don’t know. All I DO know at this time (one day before) is how nervous I am, how apprehensive I am, how anxious I am……but also how excited I am, how eager I am and how grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to do this.

I heard this quote recently and it really resonated with me:

When you do something for the first time you have to be completely fearless.

I’m not sure if I will be completely fearless, but I will give it my absolute best shot.  So here’s to the next chapter and off I boldly go……..

To be continued




5 thoughts on “The calm before the…?

  1. Hi Debbie, enjoying your blog. Couldn’t reply on there but wanted to say good luck at the start of your MA!

    Barbara x

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Hi Barbara, I’ve changed the settings now so comments will appear. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog, I really enjoy writing it! Thanks for your good wishes 😊 xx


  2. Hi Debra
    Great post….I didn’t realise that you were so. passionate about “planners”
    Most people laugh and call me a ludite as I am happily using a diary and a filofax!!
    Lots of luck for the new term….not that you need it


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