We had good news yesterday. Nearly all the time I have been making this blog, Shirley has been beavering away in the background as a part time student with Sheffield Hallam University. Focussing on young adults with diabetes, she had to complete a twelve thousand word dissertation as the final stage of her M.Sc in Advanced Professional Development (Nursing).
You would need several abacuses to work out the amount of time she put into her degree work but yesterday all that time, the self-doubt, the ups and downs, the dead-ends, the meetings, the piles of paper, the nervous drafts and the internet searches seemed worth it. She has passed!
This is an amazing achievement. Shirley first came to Sheffield at the age of sixteen to undertake a pre-nursing foundation course. Nobody in her Lincolnshire farming family had ever achieved significant academic success and in her parental home there were never any books or any connection with the world of academia.
For the first twelve years of our marriage, she was a practically-minded State Enrolled Nurse. Later she went through the required hoops to become a State Registered Nurse still working in Accident and Emergency. Then on her own initiative she was able to transfer into practice nursing and now she has an M.Sc.! What she has done as a full time worker, wife and mother verges on the remarkable and I am so proud of her. Today we are going out for a celebratory special "plat du jour" lunch with two old friends - at the nearby and very pleasant Baldwin's Omega restaurant. An achievement like this really must be marked.