It's all relative and a matter of degrees. That's today's philosophy anyway.
Yesterday I sat my final exam for my final course for a BA/BSc hons with the Open University.
I started studying with them in 2002 when I was in the police force. I fancied social policy/children's studies as I worked in Child Protection but when I left that field, I decided to change to creative writing. This allowed me to work towards an Open degree so I have ended up with modules comprising of social sciences, counselling, creative writing (fiction/plays/poety) and working with children and families - a mixed bag of courses but all relevent and worthwhile to me.
I'd always wanted to study for a degree. I was brought up believing I had the skill and ability to do so. I'd wanted to be teacher and hoped to be the first in our family to go to university. When I was seventeen my parents moved to East Anglia which meant I had to either leave school and go with them and get a job or leave school and stay in Hartlepool and get a job. I couldn't continue with my A levels as all schools/sixth form in Norwich did different syllabses and if I stayed in the North, I couldn't fund myself to stay at school. So I stayed, found a job and moved into a seafront flat over on the Headland of Hartlepool. It wasn't a good time.
I turned my life around and moved to London in 1985 to join the Metropolitan Police. But I still didn't have that degree.
My clever little sister went off to uni and I was so proud when she earned her degree in psychology (with maths/statistics as components - told you she was clever!).
At thirty six, with three children 6,5, and 3, working full time in a demanding job and a husband who worked shifts, I started my first OU course. I knew it would be tough. I knew I would falter at times and wish I'd never bothered. I knew that when I'd finished, it would all be worth it.
Yesterday, 11th October 2010, I sat my final exam on my final course to complete my degree.
They've already offered me a choice of either a BA or BSc and said I can accept it now but given my grade of pass after the results on 17th December. I think I might wait - wouldn't want to attempt fate. Besides, I'm still trying to work which is better - BA or BSc. But you know what? It doesn't really matter. I've now got that damn elusive degree.