Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Day 409 - all for the love of literature (and theatre)

Two days ago I posted about CSC, a group of people who have contributed their efforts to my fundraising but had, until then, not been mentioned here. Today I'd like to do the same for the Department at Warwick whose ongoing support has been the constant undercurrent of my writings on this journey, but has yet to have a dedicated post - the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. For you see, although I have often written of my love for my course (a joint-honours in English and Theatre), I don't think I have been clear enough along the way about the fact that I wouldn't be on this mission to walk to collect my degree (or even have a degree to collect) if it were not for the ongoing support of my department and the lovely people who work within it.

Due to the nature of my disability, I am at times (sans botox) in quite a deal of pain. This arises principally from spasms, and gives rise, in turn, to a need for extensions on assessed work, as well as modifications to examined situations - however begrudgingly I might admit it. Such measures would have not been possible without the support of the wonderful Academic Office staff (Caroline Griffin, Heather Pilbin and Sarah Box) or the feats performed by the brilliant Exams Secretary (Tracie Williams). Nor would they have been actioned without the blessing of the Head of Department (Catherine Bates) or the many forms signed by the various Directors of Undergraduate Studies (Liz Barry, Christiania Whitehead and Daniel Katz) with whom I have had the pleasure of dealing over the past three years. Then, of course, there are the tutors who have taught my seminars and given my lectures, sadly too numerous to mention individually, being spread across two faculties - but all of whom have been inspiring, inclusive and incredibly understanding. My gratitude knows no bounds, and I have learnt so very much. My primary ports of call, of course, have been my Personal Tutor (Carol Rutter, and Tess Grant in her stead for second year) and the other stalwart of our theatrical niche, Tony Howard - I truly do not think I would have survived without all three of you, and I want you to be aware of the extent of my thanks.

Having been so wonderfully supported, I really could not ask for anything more - and yet now I am compelled to let my gratitude spill out of the cup of intellectual enquiry and run over into the realms of personal, social interaction. For, as though the lengths to which the entire department have gone to provide me with academic assistance weren't enough, members of the faculty have also been responsible for a huge share of the fundraising which has allowed me to reach (and to exceed) my target amount, as of today. I am so incredibly thankful - and, since it was the course they teach which provided me with the inspiration to begin this quest, it feels rather apt.

Starlight got me to English and Theatre at Warwick, and now English and Theatre at Warwick has got back to Starlight. I will never forget either of those things.         

1 comment:

  1. Darling Jessi, Thank you for these kudos. However, you must realise, we could not have done this without you. Never have we had so much fun and joy supporting such an inspiring person. So often in this day and age, there is a feeling of entitlement when there is illness or disability that just doesn't exist in you. This makes it so much easier to help and support and willingly bend over backwards for you. YOU are an inspiration and a wonder. YOU got through this degree, with all its trials and tribulations, yes with support, but more through sheer determination and perseverance which only comes through believing in yourself. When one believes in onesself, others find it easier to believe as well.

    We will miss you very much. Heather and I and whomever else from the office that can, will be on the Piazza watching you graduate; cheering so the University can hear (possibly even the whole city!)We'll have tissues at the ready and sparkling lemonade (as we're at work!!) to toast your well-earned, well-deserved success. With much love, Tracie Williams