Under the Red Clock

Early mornings, late nights….no end in sight! A picture of me sitting at the laptop yet again under the red clock, assignment after assignment, willing each one to be complete. But the truth is we are never complete, we continue to learn we continue to grow.  

Under the Red Clock

The tutors were learning from their students and as a teacher, I hope to learn from mine.  In the Higher Diploma in Further Education in Maynooth University, everyone had a voice, some more vocal and some less vocal than others, it thought me be to be more aware of my voice, to think before I spoke to sit back and allow others to speak.


Everyone has a story to tell… the tutors, the students … what had brought us here to the Higher Diploma in Further Education. Many different winding paths leading us all together to share the experiences of our journey.   

My motivation for enrolling in the Higher Diploma for Further education was to be in a position that I could support others to change their situation through the means of education. 

I looked up to tutors during my further educational journey, I wished I was in their seat, supporting students just like me, people like me that didn’t do well in school but now long to learn. But that could never be me sitting in that seat…what do I know …what can I share. I had so much doubt! 

Some people have questioned my interest in going to college at this stage in my life and others have encouraged me to do it. I lacked confidence in my ability and the words of encouragement have stayed with me, these words have influenced my return to college. 

I have had to work extremely hard in college as it does not come easily to me. I do believe if you want something you have to work hard for it. I hope to be the catalyst for others to believe in themselves and progress in education if they wish to.   

I had negative experiences of schooldays past, education delivered generically by the teacher for the absorption of students. No education resulted in no interest.

In my family, there were no discussions regarding the importance of education or questions regarding what we wanted to do when we grew up. The consensus in our home was to finish school and get a job and start earning money. This was how it was for my father who left school early to get a job and bring in an income.  

My mother stayed in school longer than my father but women were not encouraged in education. The role of women then was to marry and become a stay at home parent. 

Education wasn’t for me, I was a grafter, I’ll earn a living by working hard as my family had done before me. But I soon learned in this capitalist society that hard work without further education doesn’t always pay the bills, it doesn’t pay for childcare, and it doesn’t pay for a mortgage.   

For me as an adult struggling to cope financially, education was the key; I felt this is the way to move up society’s stratified layers.  But I was wrong not education alone, education and hard work, we need to be constantly working to be the best we can be.   

I have finished college now and I am teaching. I still sit under the red clock in my kitchen working tirelessly to be the best teacher I can be, I am still learning I am still growing.  

Kathryn at home working under the red clock