Thirty Years In The Making…

Norwich Writers’ Circle member and Programme Secretary, Phyllida Scrivens, completed her Open University BA (Hons) degree in Literature this Summer, graduating at the Barbican in London on Friday 14th September.

Phyllida wrote this piece about her experience:

My Moment Of Glory

It was very nearly my turn. My protracted Open University journey that had begun in 1982 was almost over. The main hall in the London Barbican was filled to capacity with four hundred graduates and at least twice as many guests. I must have been number two hundred and something and it could have all been very boring, but instead the huge personality and enthusiasm of the Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean, meant that each one of us felt special and unique as he greeted each individual as if we were his long lost friend!  Two more and it would be me.  Our blue and gold robes kept falling down our shoulders but the staff adjusted them neatly just before our names were read out – after all we wanted to look our best. As the applause for the previous graduate died away, my name was called out. ‘Phyllida Scrivens’. By now in my excitement I was virtually hopping up and down like a demented rabbit and I teetered across the blue carpet to be greeted by the VC.  I could hear my party of six clapping and cheering with my husband’s voice clear above all the rest!  I whispered loudly into the VC’s ear: “I have waited 30 years for this”.  He looked aghast and pumped my hand up and down with pride.  I floated down the steps and somehow found my way back to my seat.

Thirty minutes later and he was making his final address to the graduates. ‘Everyone here today should be proud of their achievement.  Each journey has been unique in order to reach this point, and the record today was thirty years’. And pointing directly at me he added “Put your hands together for her…”  The noise was deafening.  I glanced up at my family and friends who were so excited that this final ovation was specifically for me!  This very special day had just been made even more special.  I finally had my degree, and I shall never forget this most glorious of moments!


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