What happens to our students once they have left the hallowed halls and haunts of Leedsmet? Well believe it or not they carry on meeting each other! I was reminded of this recently when a student popped by to say she’d been on a voluntary placement in Tanzania and had a card for me from a former student. Their meeting was complete serendipity. She had intended to stay at one place but arrangements had been changed at the last moment. This is what the card said:
“Dear Dr Wright. Many greetings from Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. I am Patrick Norah, a former student of yours in 2008-2009, doing an MA on Peace & development Studies. My good memories came to the fore again when Sadie, a student of yours came on a volunteering visit to Tanzania and came to our house for accommodation. During the introduction our shared experience was unbelievable. I recalled you sitting in front of the class delivering interesting and thought provoking lectures. I am still in contact with the office of Leedsmet Alumni.”
I was delighted to get this message since it reminded me of the extent to which our students become our future ambassadors but perhaps it was just one of those remarkable co-incidences. Not quite…I was in Manchester last night to listen to the inaugural lecture of Prof Roger MacGinty, speaking on hybrid forms of peace building. Great lecture and I recommend those of you who can to see him when he speaks at our PAGE Festival over lunchtime on the 4th November. But three of our former Masters students at leedsmet were in the audience which was very encouraging. Peace research and action following graduation is always a unique journey.
I invited these friends to continue discussing over a meal in Rusholme’s “curry mile.” On the way, I passed a long avenue with fully grown mature trees which brought a warm glow – I planted them nearly forty years ago when the only job open to me at Manchester University was as a temporary assistant gardener! Most of us begin our career journeys with humble beginnings – it really is what you do with what the opportunities that come your way… SO I am always curious about what our students do next. Did you also meet up in unexpected places with fellow graduates from leedsmet? Do let us know or better still, include a picture. Steve Wright