Today I was due to start my new venture, studying Professional Creative Writing at Coventry University. I have been very much looking forward to it, trying to prepare the best I could, using lock down to my advantage as I wrote a lot each day and deciding on the type of pieces I would take forth into the course. As expected, the coronavirus pandemic throws many challenges and difficult situations our way but we have tried to deal with it as best we could in the limited space and this is what I’ve tried to do over the past few months. I have had my course to focus on and this has helped me a lot.
In recent months, there was a lot of uncertainty around the prospect of not only Universities being open but also colleges and schools. The government wanted to make sure that everyone is protected which I completely understand but it did make everything more complicated and I hated not knowing what was going to happen with my chance of going University. As instructed I followed everything Coventry University said to do, enrolled, completing the induction process etc and just had to pray that everything else would follow suit.
After receiving my timetable, I saw that our classes would be provided through online and face-to-face learning split 50-50. Now having a plan, I had to put arrangements into place and went to Coventry for the day to have another look around the University facilities and refine the last few details with the University and the disability team. I was impressed to see that the disability team and my calls team had already been corresponding to put particular things in place. I left Coventry University feeling confident and reassured and I looked forward to starting this blended learning.
Following the visit to Coventry University, I found a few fellow students of mine and we started to to chat on social media and get to know each other. This was really great as we could share experiences, get to know each other before starting and I’m really glad I got in touch with them. Together we were notified that our timetables had changed and looking I saw that all of our classes were now online based learning.
It came as a bit of a shock, but I could understand why they had changed this. Everywhere and everyone was still nervous and unsure about what was to happen and the regulations they had to put into place. The government was giving mixed messages and and the whole pandemic was changing fast to properly keep up. Though disappointed, I tried to make the most of it and and began to prepare myself for online based classes. I managed to sort out a suitable work and creative space that I could use throughout; a place for my laptop to manage zoom chats and my notebooks to write in when necessary. I was able to adapt pretty quickly and had my mind ready for classes to begin.
Last week, however, there was speculation that the MA in Professional Creative Writing was going to be postponed until January. I felt very confused and nervous about it all as it took me by surprise, there have been no indication before to this happening and it was a shock. A number of students had been contacted on the phone and were told the course was being delayed and there is an opportunity to change courses if they wanted too, but while some of us were receiving phone calls, others weren’t, me for one. As the week went on, there was still no phone call, I guessed that classes we’re going to go ahead as of today.
To my anger and disappointment, I received a phone call on Friday evening at 6 p.m. from Coventry University saying that the course was not going to run and instead it was being deferred until January due to the coronavirus pandemic. I was really annoyed that they left it until the last minute to call and tell me this, I was due to start classes in under 48 hours and had made all the physical and mental preparations to do so. The university did offer me a place on an alternative course, but I said that I didn’t want to change courses so last minute and I would rather wait until the January intake. I have worked so hard to get on this course and I wasn’t going to enrol on another course that I’m not going to be invested in and risk my place on the Professional Creative Writing course in the process. I would rather wait until January and I hope it will start then.
At the time of hearing this news, I was so pissed off (excuse the language) and furious at the lack of communication and generally the whole situation. However, I’ve had time to to reflect over the weekend and though I am still extremely angry and disappointed, I do understand that things are always changing and they have to act in the best way possible in response. I am going to use the time between now and January to practice my craft and work on the individual creative projects I hoped (and still hope) to use in the duration of the course. I am set on my goal and only hope to be able start in January!