Life I handed my dissertation in today.

It was one of most exciting of anti-climaxes. Although I'd been advised by the people who do the binding that the two copies wouldn't be ready until two o'clock today, I went early, this morning, on the off chance, and there they were. Lovely black hard cover with my name on the side in gold lettering. I was proud. The person at the desk suggested I check through it to make sure everything was all ok.

Flicking through I noticed a footnote I didn't remember writing. And a reference. And a conclusion I hadn't seen before. Then a print-out covering sheet. What had evidently happened was that when I'd printed it out on Friday someone had sent something else to the printer and rather than the usual pause in between, the job had appeared all together, I'd picked it up, checked it without seeing anything wrong and simply taken it down for binding. Surprisingly I didn't swear because I knew that something would go wrong. Self fulfilling prophecy. That was why I'd been sorting it out a week early.

I asked person on the binding counter if anything could be done. She disappeared into the bowels of the library and spoke to the people who actually do the binding and the word that came back was that if they cut the pages out that it would look odd and the examiner might not like it so I would have to pay for it to be rebound. I asked if they were willing to do it anyway. She said not. But that I could and speak directly to the binders. At the back of the building.

I walked around the outside of the library to a backdoor I previously hadn't known anything about. I rang the bell. An older man appeared and I explained the issue to him. He smiled and told be to wait. Someone else arrived and I told him. He smiled and said no. I pressed him further. He said yes. The pages were cut out nice and neatly and it really just liked something that had happened during the binding process. Sigh. I was seeing my tutor one final time anyway so I too the dissertation to him and he just smiled and said it would be fine and he wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't mentioned it. Sigh again.

So off it went. The final act of the academic year and it was as anti-climactic as I was expecting. I'm not saying there should be music and bunting it just seemed so ...

By a strange twist I managed to bump into some of the people I'd met that first day as they too were in various stages of handing in or applying for jobs. That seemed right somehow, almost like I'd book ended the year. I reflected on all the things I haven't done this year but also all the great things that I had.

As I turned to walk up Oxford Road towards the station one final time as an official Manchester University student I remembered my first day, clutching a map and nearly tripping over. I kept turning around and looking at the buildings for the last time that they would be somewhere I would be and just kept sighing. I didn't want to leave even though my connection to them had been far more tangential than I might have wanted.

But I felt a flatness as though it wasn't really over because in some ways it hadn't really begun. My one regret was never going swimming the university pool. I'd wanted to. Forgotten I'd wanted to, then reminded myself as I passed by today smelling the chlorine. Funny.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:43 am

    Happy handing in dissertation day!