Basic Autobiography

  • Early Years
  • Teen Years
  • At University
  • Early Adulthood
  • Middle Years
  • Online C V
  • My Scribbling
  • Settled Years
  • Motability 2012
  • Self Image

    Thoughts on ..




     photo of Essex University's Square 3
    Apart from the academic education I had at Hereward College, I acquired a lot of expertise that I had not been taught at school because of their perception of me. I learnt (physically) how to lock my own door, how to get into Coventry on my own and other related skills.


    Towards the end of my only complete year at Hereward I was talked into applying to university and amazingly I was offered an unconditional place at Essex University in Colchester on the strength of my one A level and a pass from the Open University.


    However this offer was twisted over the summer holiday of 1980 into a very conditional one.


    I had attended a meeting convened by the university's Dean of Students Office in early July and we were assured that the university was confident that my fellow students would meet my physical support requirements.


    Then, ten working days before my first term I received a letter from the Dean of Students Office informing me that they recommended that I did not take up my place because the university had realised that my physical needs would not be met in the way they had envisaged.


    Very naturally I was upset and angry. I had tried to convince the university that they were relying on the students far too much, but they had not listened.


     my formal graduation photo

    I only started university on time, taking up my so-called unconditional offer, thanks to my father being able to come with me for the first month while the university sorted out alternative support.


    I had a very enjoyable three years at university and the students I mixed with very quickly forgot I was a wheelchair user and saw me as 'me'. In fact, within the Literature Department, I earned the reputation of knowing where classes were and more than once my presence reassured the others that they had got the right room!