In December 2019, just as Covid was preparing to strike, I graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MA in Literary Linguistics (distinction).

My BA was from the Open University, in Humanities (English Language). I started, as a mature student with a toddler and a child in Reception, with an Open Degree, wanting to complete a degree as part of unfinished business. About half way through, I discovered the English Language and Stylistics modules, and quickly ended up specialising in an area I just fell in love with.

What started as unfinished business became a passion and I couldn’t give up the studying bug, so began looking around for a Master’s Degree that I could do, again via Distance Learning, and was lucky enough to find Nottingham, with modules and staff specialising in the subjects I loved, including names familiar from my stylistics modules which clinched the deal.

Eventually through my MA I discovered that I enjoyed, and was good at, cognitive poetics, and something really clicked. Again, I couldn’t give up and began the search for a PhD while I was working on my dissertation (Text World Theory and Harry Potter, if you’re interested; looking particularly at how embodiment draws the reader in to the wizarding world). I sent an application to the person who literally wrote the book on Text World Theory, Joanna Gavins, and was lucky enough to be accepted for a distance PhD, researching the cognitive linguistics of how death is approached in popular YA fiction using Text World Theory and metaphor, as well as other cognitive poetic aspects of the novels I was looking at. With reluctance, I left my course early in 2022 when I realised that I just couldn’t give enough time and attention to all the different parts of my life, but I will always be proud that I had that opportunity, and I took so much from this part of my life.

I am, however, an insatiable learner, so I have no doubt that the end of my PhD studies is not the end of my learning journey.