My alma mater is no more … NOT!

Filed in Memories

As of 1 August 2004, my alma mater, the School of English & American Studies (EAS) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England, is no more. No, it hasn’t closed down. It’s just (just! she says … *roll eyes*) been renamed Faculty of Humanities, with three separate Schools of study that were departments in the previous set-up – School of American Studies, School of Film and Television Studies, and School of Literature and Creative Writing.

Now that I think about it, UEA is probably one of the very few English universities that didn’t have a Humanities whatever (insert word of choice: School, Department, Faculty … ) in the 80s. Then again, it is also one of the newer English universities, having been set up only in 1963, which maybe gave it creative licence to have more new-fangled sounding names for its departments.

What made me decide on UEA? For one thing, it was one of two universities to make me an unconditional offer (the other was the University of Warwick). For another, EAS’s degree award system fitted in with my needs at that point in my life.

Why UEA and not Warwick? While both are not in London (so that I’d be safe from its various distractions), Norwich is only 2 hours away and close enough for a day trip when I needed to be distracted.

As for the degree award system, 50% was determined by course work throughout the three years and the other 50% from exams held only at the end of the third year. This was a god-send to me because I’d been out of school for seven years and not having to worry about exams at the end of each term or each year made a big difference. The first two terms were also preliminary terms that gave students the opportunity to try out the different departments’ offerings before deciding on their majors and minors. Prelims, in particular, gave me the time needed to ease back in to student life, adapting to attending classes instead of meetings.

It turned out I made the right decision in accepting UEA’s unconditional offer and spending three formative years in EAS. There were three particular aspects about EAS that made UEA stand out from the other English universities – its Creative Writing School, Film Studies Department and Women’s Writing section.

(to be cont’d … )