“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”

One word describes the last twelve months of my life. A rollercoaster! It’s been a great year and it only felt like yesterday when we began our MSc CCAFS course last September. This day last year I was in Germany (having spent the previous 10 months there) working long hours trying to make enough to fund the year ahead. I remember getting a phone call a few days later and being sent to England for two weeks to work with the same company. It upset the plans a little as I’d hoped to finally chill out and get rested before the Masters program began. Anyway, the two weeks were up and I flew from London Stanstead back to Ireland on a Tuesday evening after working a half day.

That Friday the we were in NUI Galway to meet the staff and 2015/16 class who had just finished their CCAFS Masters. The following week was spent adjusting to life at home again and preparing a 2 minute presentation for the following Friday. The Monday after the presentation, lectures started, and the journey to today had begun.

Semester one was extremely busy. I’d been away from academia for 6 years and was a little bit rusty to say the least. It was hard to tune in, the younger kids out of undergraduate programs were fresh and chomping at the bit. Myself and a few old soldiers (ye know who ye are) probably took a few weeks to get into the swing of things. Truth be told, the first semester was over before I was comfortable. The continuous assessment was slow going and I found it hard to adapt to the workload of a Masters. “I wasn’t match fit”, as the saying goes. However, it stood to me and found semester two much easier. Before we knew it exams were over and preparations had begun in earnest for the thesis.

The CCAFS Conference was a great experience. The class met many experts in the fields of climate change, agriculture and food security. The following week I managed to fit a tiring trip to the USA in which was badly needed. However, the thesis and the upcoming trip to the Philippines was continuously in the back of my head. I was home and after some initial desk research, the thesis was under way. A few weeks later I arrived in the Philippines with my hosts, IRRI. Two months of conducting research on the 3D printing of spare parts threw up some surprising results. I returned on the 28th of July and it was non stop, 7 days a week writing and editing the thesis. That brings us to today.

In less than twelve months I’ve finished working in Germany, completed a Masters program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, visited London, New York, Washington DC, and the Philippines. It’s been a hectic year but wouldn’t change it for the world. I often wonder how did I manage to fit all that in? One thing this program has thought me is how lucky we are in the so called developed world. There are a lot of people worse off than us and we really should appreciate life more no matter how bad we think it is!! (PS. The following quote is relevant to my featured image!!).

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of”, (Bruce Lee).

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