MATURE STUDENT Rosie Moss is 48 and a mother of two. Her oldest child has flown the family nest, leaving herself and her nine-year- old son, Jazz, in residence. Rosie has just finished a year-long course in creative writing at Ruskin College, Oxford and obtained a certificate of higher education.
"I learnt many skills from the course at Ruskin. The course was multi- disciplined, so I had to take other subjects apart from my core module. I learnt by experimenting with various forms of writing and how to write critical essays. I am now able to cover topics in more detail, write in different styles and with more punch. I understand the importance of thorough research and how to go about it. And through tutorials and lectures I learnt how to interact within a group and criticise work in a constructive manner.
"Although I grew in many ways, the demands of the course meant I had to turn my back on a lot of the things I used to do, such as managing my allotment and producing wonderful home-grown fruit and vegetables. My garden turned into a jungle. I'd split up from my husband and missed the domestic back-up and emotional support you receive from a partner. I accepted that I needed to manage my time wisely. I had to put my all into the course and into making special time to talk with my son, to exchange news and eat lots of pasta. I had to learn not to worry about keeping up the same degree of house maintenance and cookery as before.
"This meant I'd be a normal domestic person until after tea, then I'd start work in a fairly relaxed manner until eight o'clock, after which time I'd really go for it. …