It feels like it’s been a significant 24 hours here at Hippy Towers.
Firstly, and picking up sort of where my 25th June entry left off, Steen and I both found out our module results for our final respective Open University courses. Much to our delight, we both nailed a Pass 2, just shy of a distinction apiece. This was a really nice way to close our time studying with the Open University: no need for re-sits or any of that jazz, just a nice, positive result for us both.
This also means that my honours degree is finally complete, so I’m officially “HippyDave, BSc(Hons)” as of today (well, I will be once I’ve accepted the qualification; a formality I haven’t dealt with yet), with a 2:1 no less. Sure, it’s not a First, but then I was holding down a full-time job at the same time – and that in the face of a merger and several rounds of redundancies – so I’m cutting myself a break here. It’s weird – I’m proud and not proud at the same time to have a degree under my belt. In a world where more and more people have degrees it’s no longer an exceptional thing, but for all that I’m the first of my family (unless you count the family I married into ;)) to go to university (even a virtual one), let alone obtain a degree as a result. There’s an increasing amount of cynicism about degrees out there – “Oh, they’re no substitute for experience”, “more people have them, so they must be easier to get”, and so on and so forth – but the cynics can do one. The option for me to go to university when I left school just wasn’t there for a number of reasons, and I went years feeling like a door I should have gone through had been locked before I reached it. But damn it, if I haven’t just kicked that door down and done it anyway (albeit with no thanks to our illustrious coalition government, may they all go forth in jerky movements forever – and people wonder why I’ll have no truck with the Liberal Democrats these days. Sheesh.). I feel good about that, and no-one’s going to diminish my sense of accomplishment.
Secondly, Steen and her friend (and now colleague) Helen signed the lease on their new joint business today. Steen’s worked like a goddamn trooper for longer even than it’s taken me to finish my degree to complete all the counselling qualifications and training she has under her belt now, and although starting a new business is fraught with uncertainty and what-ifs and is therefore a bit of a nervous time, no-one deserves this chance for greater personal and professional fulfilment than she does. I’m well proud of her for having the courage and self-belief to take her skills into a public space in this way. She and Helen seem well-matched for this; they complement each other well, and they’ve been wonderfully supportive of each other as things fall into place. I wish them both all the very best with the businesses going forward. If you’re local to Worcestershire and want to find out more, you can find their websites here:
Beyond these landmark events, today’s been a cross-stuff-off-the-list day. I had my regularly scheduled dental check-up this morning (no problems); I’ve done our pre-holiday hoovering; I’ve filled a memory stick with some bangin’ tunes… the prospect of getting on a plane (or two) on Saturday draws enticingly close now. As more things are wrapped up and completed, or move into a new phase, I’m increasingly aware that we really need some time to decompress. We’ll be on our way soon, America. Try not to shut the government down until we get there. 😉