Of Coffee Stains, Interviews, and Food Before Art

Within the first hour of arriving at work I spilled some coffee on my nice white linen top. Never a good look, but worse because in the evening I had an interview for the BA in Creative Writing. I was in a meeting, so I couldn’t really rush out and rinse my top under the tap immediately as I should have liked. I began to feel very impatient with one of the meeting who said the same thing about six times in not very different ways.

And I am not exaggerating. Or at least not about the impatience. 


When she finally decided that we had heard her opinion as much as we could take, the meeting ended and I shot off to the loo where fortunately the hand basin is also behind a locked door. The next hour was fairly damp, but the worst of the stain was gone.

At lunchtime, I left that place of work and set off to another of my jobs. Today was warm, and by the mid afternoon sunny with blue skies. Anyway, I had an enjoyable time at work and then just an hour to kill before my interview.

I was pretty relaxed, more relaxed than I have ever been previously before an interview. I had so little to go on and had not submitted an application form so I didn’t really know what was going to happen, but I did have some questions of my own to ask.

It turned out that the interviewers first question was the same as mine – why the BA? They were pretty convincing and I found myself increasingly keen on the idea. Then I asked another question. In one of the messages I received last week the fees were mentioned; someting over £6000. I asked if this was for the whole four years. the answer was in the negative. And the fees can increase. There was a short silence while I gulped and they looked slightly embarrassed.

Now this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I do not have limitless sums of money to draw upon, and six thousand quid a year represents a pretty large chunk of my income, and rather more than I am happy to part with without a great deal of reflection.

So, although I have until this evening to decide whether to accept the offer of the place they were kind enough to tell me they would make me, I feel it is unlikely I’ll be signing up. I can defer. Maybe I shall do that. Who knows, my premium bonds (all three of them) may yet come good and this time next year these fees may seem like loose change. Though somehow I doubt it.

It was nice to be told I was exactly the sort of student they wanted, and that obviously I take my writing seriously, though to be honest, I’m not sure what that means, but I think perhaps I don’t take it as seriously as £6000+ per annum.

Also, I am thinking of ditching the job where I threw coffee over myself, so I may be living on £6000 per annum at this rate. This is telling me that I am not prepared to starve in a garret (aka a second floor flat) for my art. My frivolous attitude has been outed.

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16 thoughts on “Of Coffee Stains, Interviews, and Food Before Art

  1. wow, hefty fees, for sure. fees have become quite exorbitant on this side of the Atlantic as well. decisions, decisions. and there are all of MasterB’s dinners per annum to think of too 🙂
     
    but seriously, all the best as you weigh all the options of what is next….

  2. A friend is doing a degree in creative writing, and I’m not sure she’d recommend it- the cost is huge and there may be better ways to spend it on your writing.

    • The course does sound very good, and has a good reputation, with a fair number of students being published in their final year. I wish I could pick and choose the modules I should like to take, but that isn’t possible

  3. Wow, when I told you to go for it, I assumed you could take one course at a time and just pay for that course. For 6000 quid a year you would want to have some idea of how you would be able to get a return. That is a lot of money to spend on a hobby – at least it is a lot on a limited income.

    • Yes, lots of dosh. It is a reputable course, and has the advance of being somewhere where I know the teaching is strong, but I am not sufficiently committed today to accept the place.
      Something will turn up. 🙂

    • To be fair, it is quite a nice idea, but I am not heartbroken. Four years is a long time, and there are pars of the course I am not interested in at all. I have some credits that would mean most of the first year would be taken care of, but it has been useful in making me think.

  4. It’s an insane amount of money! The OCA costs just over £6000 in total but I was able to bring 120 points from my 200 OU ones over which helps. I agree with Kris, you can’t do anything that would put Master B at risk 😉

    • That’s the difference between online courses and ones in physical spaces and face to face teaching. It also explains why online courses are growing in popularity.
      I would never put my boy at risk!:)

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