A year can seem to go by at an agonising crawl, and, at the same time, in the blink of an eye. Time certainly passed in this strange fashion during my Masters’ year at Exeter, a year which, at the time, appeared to mosey along, carrying along reading lists, notes, and flurries of thoughts on Theocritus, Sophocles, Seneca, and the development of Wagner’s dragons. However, looking back on this year, I find myself struggling to figure out just where all these little developments, hurdles, and milestones fell in the grand scheme of things. It seems difficult to see the breakdown of the journey for the finished project. I was so lucky to spend a happy, productive, and successful final year at Exeter, so far removed from the stresses, frustrations, and nightmares of the third year of my undergraduate degree. Being able to focus on work, research, and plans for the future, without malicious shadows breathing down my neck was truly wonderful. I was joined on my Masters’ journey by a fantastic cohort of fellow students, all of whom brought such light and joy to the long nights of reading and essay writing which always follow one’s inevitable failure to adhere to a carefully constructed work schedule. In these students, I found friends whose interest in and enthusiasm for the Classical world rivalled and outstripped my own, and whose novel and unfamiliar perspectives encouraged me to re-evaluate my own opinions of the discipline. I got my first (baby) tastes of ‘real’ academic life during my Masters’ year, attending my first conference, ‘Intertextuality in Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica (https://goo.gl/NWgbFN), and presenting my first paper on the language and structure of Seneca's Hercules Furensto some (thankfully) friendly faces as part of the departmental postgrad work in progress seminar series. These experiences in particular have proven invaluable as I embark upon my PhD studies, and prepare for further academic adventures.
I realise that this has been a rather soppy and sentimental post, but please indulge me for just a few more lines. Leaving Exeter to study for my PhD at the University of Liverpool was by no means an easy decision. I left behind an incredibly friendly, welcoming, and supporting department, and many wonderful friends, without whom my last year would have been very different (and would probably have sucked). So what I am trying to say, is THANK YOU. To my supervisor, Dr Sharon Marshall, to all of my tutors, to my housemate Paige with whom I shared an absurdly warm home, and finally to the whole MA gang, for making this a year to remember!
P.S: If anyone is interested in hearing more about Intertextuality in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, my good friend Sam Hayes has a great post on the conference!