Today was my penultimate day at work, at the University of Plymouth. Tomorrow I join the ranks of the semi-retired. Blimey, that came quickly!
At lunch today I was sitting in the campus and was reminiscing about my time there. I first came to the university as a mature student. I had no qualifications. In those days 'life experience' was as important as qualifications. I say I had no qualifications, what I mean is I had none of the traditional qualification one needs to enter higher education A-levels and the like. What I did have were three or four poor CSE's from a poor secondary modern for boys/comprehensive and some City and Guilds craft apprenticeship Certs. My one 'academic' prize if I could call it that, was an English O level (grade A) taken a few months before applying to Uni.
So I was accepted onto a combined honours course to do Politics, Sociology and Psychology. I had been active in the labour and trade union movement and that's where my 'life experience' had proved valuable.
So this was in 1987 which means except for about 18 months I have been at the University of Plymouth for 24 years. Bloody hell! That's a long time. Obviously for 3 years I was a student. Then I was a part time lecturer (not pensionable darn it) for about 8 or 9 years and 11 years in this job. (I was a Research Fellow at the University of Sussex during the time I was away)(I was also holding down a part time lecturing job at Exeter University, associate lectureship with the Open University since graduating, various teaching jobs for adult education and the WEA, plus research jobs at Exeter and doing a PHD.)
When I first came to Plymouth the university was a humble 60's/70's type polytechnic, then it got all eighties and became 'Polytechnic SouthWest' then after I graduated it became the University of Plymouth. It's now moved on and rebranded yet again and has become Plymouth University.
Having seen four name changes, had about seven office moves it's clear it's time to move on.....