So what makes 2017 special for me? I returned to the big smoke and weekly commutes – not special but momentous all the same… I became Dr Scott – the culmination of several years hard work, so, yes, special… and then my seventh granchild was born – so very, very very special!
After a fulfilling year of study leave where I was able to stay at home beside the sea and write to my heart’s content, in other words, to be in my element, in late January, 2017, I moved back to the City of Sails in preparation for the return to full-time teaching and the commute home each weekend. The little bedsit in Mangere Bridge became a relatively pleasant bolthole during the work week when I was not where I wanted to be, home in Tairua, the village beside the sea. So this year I reluctantly swopped fulfilment and pleasure and self-direction and creativity and getting up when I woke up and working till I felt I was done and not leaving the house for weeks at a time and bliss for… 5am starts and daily commutes in city traffic and ten hour work days and school bells and planning and marking and managing and teaching chatty girls (not all of whom want to learn) and mentoring first year teachers (not all of whom appreciate experience) and feeling overworked, overlooked and undervalued.
But two major events made it all worthwhile. In late January, the night before school started back, I submitted my doctoral thesis for examination. Within twelve weeks I had received feedback and advice from the local and overseas examiners, and, after some minor tweaks, my copy went to print. Soon after, I defended my work in the oral examination, the Board of Studies approved my work, and I became a Doctor of Education. In July, I presented my research at the AFMLTA conference at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia, with some pride. The formal graduation ceremony in September was important but really, I was one of thousands.
Then, on 20th October, a beautiful little granddaughter was born. How can you compare?
So looking back, yes, despite the necessary return to the ratrace, a doctorate and, more importantly, a grandaughter have made 2017 one to remember, one to celebrate.