As some of you might now already, I finally finished my MA in Online Journalism that I attended last year at Birmingham City University (UK) under the guidance of Paul Bradshaw. I had to postpone the delivery of the final assignment so this is why I’m getting my diploma now. And now I can say a few things.
I want to thank everyone who supported me in this great experience, from my colleagues in Birmingham who helped me out and had fun with, especially Dan Davies and his wife Jules who received me in their home in the first night I got there and put up with me through out the year, Caroline Beavon that is like my British sister, Ioana Epure who is amazing in everything she does and Mikel Plana, though he dropped out mid course he is related to some of the best and funniest moments I had there.
And there are many others, with whom I still try to keep in touch despite the distance, but life sometimes has other plans. I expect to see most of you again in the future, if things turn out for the best for me. To you all my deepest thanks and appreciation for those amazing moments.
I’d also like to thank all the staff at BCU that had to deal with me now and then, to the teachers who asked the right questions and made me look at things from a different perspective.
I realized in the last year something had changed in me, and although sometimes I don’t know what it was, I know “why”, and I feel I’m better because of that. Now and then people come and ask me about the course, and I always say it’s worth the shot, and that they at least should consider seriously the option of doing this MA.
The most important of this thank you list is Paul Bradshaw, who has been really patient with me in these last 18 months. I remember clearly the day he asked if I want to be part of the first class of his MA: my life was not going well, I was broke (again) and considering giving up all things journalism. I went for a run that day to sort things out in my mind and establish a plan, feeling like Indiana Jones rescuing his hat in the very last second.
I asked for a loan because I never had the money to pay for something like this, and so I joined the inaugural class of this course, that was brilliant because Paul got us in touch with real people, real situations and real work environments. This business is changing too fast to grasp all the novelties, but he managed to keep us up to speed. He’s a brilliant guy and I respect him a lot. So, thank you so much Paul, this meant a lot to me.
Closer to me are others that I already thanked for everything they did. You know who you are because I already told you how much your support meant to me. But I have to publicly thank my parents, who have always been there for me. My family is not average middle class, make that lower middle class, we don’t have a car, we don’t own a house, they make the minimum wage but still managed to make things happen. And of course, in this picture there’s my grandmother that always saved the day when I was in a financial distress. She passed away this summer and I feel I never thanked her enough.
To tell you the truth, I say the year I spent in Birmingham was the best one of my life, despite the hardships, frustrations, failures and micro-disasters along the way. I can say the opposite of 2011, it’s been one of the worst years ever, and though I had a magnificent work experience with Porto University, too many bad things happened through out the year, and my final project resented that. The final result isn’t brilliant, but I have to be honest, for a moment there I though I wasn’t going to make it. I wanted to pass with flying colors, but it’s amazing as it is.
The future from here looks dark, I’m broke (my financial records are a roller-coaster from hell), trying to survive in a dying economy in a country where hope is something that faded long ago, and I’m stuck with a loan for the next 7 years that I can’t pay. And there’s the regular expenses, like a roof, light, water, food, internet. I’ve been here before, but this time it’s a bit more complicated. But I’m trying, and I’m not leaving my hat behind in any circumstances.
Anyway, it’s done, there are no regrets, quite the opposite: I am better, happier, richer as a person (and hopefully financially too anytime soon), and this is a huge achievement for me, probably the biggest one so far, because no one just hand it over to me, I’m still fighting for it.