I’m having a crisis at the moment.
Not one that’s going to stop my world turning, but one that is a strong factor in my thinking presently.
I have been accepted to do a MA in Creative Writing at DMU this coming September, but I am now not sure that I want to do it.
It’s not a crisis of conscience, but simply a practical matter.
When I was accepted we were in normality, and I expected that in the autumn I’d be strolling down to the university to attend my lectures in the company of other students; many of whom will be young enough to be my kids – or perhaps not good for the ego, maybe in some cases my grandkids.
After doing my BA in Literature (but with a distinction in Creative Writing) by distance learning at the Open University, I was looking forward to being a proper on-site student.
But, of course, C-19 has now thrown everything up in the air and word has it that DMU may not have students back in September and, you’ve got it, undertake the course by distance learning on-line.
I might bite the bullet I suppose were it not for the fact that all the uncertainty has made me start to think what do I want a MA in creative writing for anyway?
I am a working writer with some poems and short stories published (in minor and charity gratis publications, nothing too outstanding) and I have had six of my plays performed, which is in itself a form of publishing to my mind.
So why do I want an academic endorsement for what to me is a very practical craft?
It has made me look at other courses and I have been attracted to one at the University of Birmingham through its Shakespeare Institute based in Stratford-upon-Avon on Shakespeare and Theatre.
Now you can do this course through distance learning, but even after talking to Institute academics I still can’t get my head around how you can teach theatre on-line, especially when the academics also enthusiastically tell you that the theatre element is very practical and hands-on utilising the nearby resource of the Royal Shakespeare Company and their theatres, currently in furlough.
Are there any mathematicians out there who can more simply explain how you square a circle because I think I’m losing the plot?
But, in any event, it may all be academic (I know it’s a pun) if, like DMU, Birmingham decides its courses go on-line from September, and then we really see how you teach practical, hands-on theatre in cyberspace.
So, if I’m honest, I’m starting to think that wanting to re-start studying this September is a very bad idea and I was interested to see a comment from a Facebook friend of mine this morning, who is already a DMU MA student, advising me that he wouldn’t start a course in these C-19 circumstances.
Oh well, there’s always 2021.
It’s what we all seem, with increasing regularity, to be saying for all the different things we want to do, but that we have on hold for now.