Yesterday was graduation day.  You can see a seperate post about that here (available soon):

2017 THUAS Masters Graduation Day

I was awarded valedictorian for the part-time MICM class, meaning that I had the highest grade point average (GPA).  Here is my speech:

This is the original text I wrote, which I changed only slightly…

The moment I heard I would have the opportunity to give a short valedictorian speech, I knew immediately I wanted my family up here with me. My husband and girls have stood by me through the huge challenge of juggling study, work and family.  They have inspired me and supported me, and this moment belongs as much to them as to me.  Even if I’m going to do all of the talking as usual….

No matter your achievements in life, whether that be high grades, or simply just reaching the finish line – even as last – it is something to stop and celebrate.  That can sometimes be easy to forget when you are buried in Harvard referencing!  But life is so much better shared.  It’s about community, connection and, of course, communication.  

When I wrote my acknowledgement page in my thesis, you may not be surprised to hear it was long! Some of my family & friends are right here in this room.  My fellow part time dream team – you made group work fun and I know it was extremely close for this award. I acknowledge and thank my lecturers, colleagues, students, supervisor and entire team for sharing their knowledge and support.  

Other friends and family are as far away as Australia.  My parents have both had a tough year with their health and can’t be here with me today.  But they are always here with me in the values and love of learning that they taught me.

Alongside the importance of family and friends I’d like to also champion the combination of children and career.   Part of the reason I chose the topic for my thesis – “How can elearning enhance study success at THUAS?” is because I believe that the opportunity to pursue academic qualifications as well as a challenging and fulfilling career should be equally open to all.  That includes parents who are juggling family responsibilities and often require more flexibility.

So thank you for this award and acknowledgement of the fact that though not easy, it’s possible.