They all said it would be boring. They groaned and moaned and rolled their eyes. They sighed deeply. So I can’t say I wasn’t warned when I enrolled for a Research Methods paper this year. This is a compulsory precursor to completing a thesis, to complete my Masters. So, a necessary hoop (necessary evil?) through which to jump.
This journey towards my Masters started back in 1992, when I was a fresh-faced student, just qualified with my BA Hons in English/Euro Literature (mais oui!). I had been accepted to complete my Masters in Shakespearean studies (oh, the romance of it all, I thought at the time!).
But when I asked the bank manager for a loan, the conversation went something like this:
Him, smiling: “Congratulations on being accepted to pursue a Masters. So, what subject will you be exploring?”
Me, as excited and keen as only a twenty-something can be: “English – Shakespeare actually”.
Him, smile fading: ” And what job would that be leading to? Any ideas?”
Me, feeling less excited than 10 seconds ago: “Er…hadn’t really thought about it. But I love English. And Shakespeare. A lot.”
Him, sternly and with an air of a man who knows his business: “Well, if it were Maths or Science, no problem. But there’s not much call for jobs with an English background. So I’m afraid we won’t be able to lend you the funds for your studies.”
Ad that was it. I waited another 16 years until I had an opportunity to try again. And this time, I chose Education. Plenty of work in them there hills.
I’ve now finished the Research Methods course (and the other four papers before that). And it wasn’t so bad. In fact, that ‘dull’ paper was hugely rewarding, and I wasn’t the only student on the course who thought so.
And if you give me a sec, I’ll be able to think of why it’s the best paper you can study if you’re in education.