Multi Story Edinburgh

Marc - Class of 2020 - Comfort zones, inter-religious dialogue and shared spaces.

February 23, 2021 The University of Edinburgh Season 1 Episode 22
Multi Story Edinburgh
Marc - Class of 2020 - Comfort zones, inter-religious dialogue and shared spaces.
Show Notes Transcript

Each episode is a snapshop, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. Season one talks to our 2020 graduates about how things are going, or not going, for them.  In episode twenty two we meet Religious Studies graduate Marc.

Each month we meet five more graduates. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about this weird and unpredictable time.

All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh. 

Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk.

Music: Since When by Mise Darling. 

Sonia Mullineux (host)  0:07  
This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is season one, class of 2020.

Marc  0:18  
Um so hi I'm Marc. I'm a Master's student studying Theology and History, at Edinburgh, I did my undergraduate in Religious Studies at Edinburgh. So been here a while. Um, but I absolutely loved Edinburgh, and I loved the School of Divinity. So it just kinda made me want to stay on and do some more learning. So yeah, I've come back for another year. I wasn't too sure what I wanted to do. Um, I've always wanted to do teaching, but I didn't have the qualifications yet. So there was there was a part of me that I was just loving University so much, and getting to learn all this kind of stuff about, you know, Religion, and Theology and History, that, um, I thought, well, d'you know, why don't I just take an extra year just to kind of find a little bit more learning before I then try and go in to teaching or find another kind of thing to do. So I just thought, you know, maybe, maybe this next year, with everything going on, is the best to just kind of take that chance and do the extra year. I'm not particularly a fan of going out of my comfort zone. And I think the world's just quite crazy just now that, you know, staying at Uni for another year just felt like an extension of that kind of safety that I've known for the last four years as well, you know, I know what I'll be doing, I know who my lecturers will be, I kinda know what I'm doing around Uni now, why not just have that one constant. And I've always been interested, in inter-religious dialogue, and ecumenical and they do sound really technical, but it's, it's more, so I'm Catholic and I like to look at how the Catholic Church engages with, you know, other religions, but also other Christians. There's a really important and interesting point of history, which occurred in the 60s, and this is the Second Vatican Council, and it made major changes, you know, for the Church and, and in the way of, you know, its outlook and approaching the modern world. And so I really enjoy looking at, you know, what, what happened? What was this change, and then how's it been built on in the last 50 or more, so years? So whenever I tell anybody, you know, what I'm interested in and try to explain it all, they just kinda look at me with glazed eyes. And I think I just ramble on. 

Marc  2:14  
There's so much going on in the world right now, especially with division, the religious leaders and things like that, you know, they call for, you know, they call for peace, and they call for mutual learning and friendship. And this is something that I really value about Pope Francis, is that he, because I looked at this for my dissertation last year that he, he approaches things, um, you know, with others, other religions or other Christians, he says, you know, start first as friends, make friendships, and then build upon that. And I really like the idea of, you know, engaging the other - the people that we don't know, the people from different communities. And I think that the more we meet people from a different background, the more we learn about them, and we learn about their cultures. And I think it just, you know, helps to overcome the boundaries. Well, I did RE in high school, did my higher RE, and I just absolutely loved it, um, it was my favourite subject. I had two incredible teachers. And my, my, one of my teachers, she had been to Edinburgh, and she had done her undergraduate in Religious Studies. So I just said, Look, I want to do that I want to go into Religious Studies. You know, when I was even when I was in primary school, I've always been interested in other religions. I think I found like, from primary three, like a doodle that I'd drawn, and it was like the Hindu gods. And you know, it was more interesting to me than kind of my own faith at some point. And then I got to Edinburgh. And then I got to do all this academic study of Christianity, of the Bible, and, and all these different things. And I was like, my eyes were just kind of opened, it was like, wow, there's so much that I didn't know, I thought I knew, but I actually didn't know. But definitely it was doing RE in high school, just getting to explore these other religions, and then looking at moral issues. And then also how does like religion and science engage, and you know, what's the points of divergence or agreement and these kind of things, and I just thought it was such an interesting topic. There's nothing else I don't think that I would want to study.

Marc  4:08  
So like, lockdown just kicks off and then you know, the library closes, we can't access books or anything like that. And everything was just, you know, thrown up into upheaval, no one really knew what was going on. And I know that everyone was just trying to, you know, do the best that they could. So this really, it was really strange for us because, you know, we just suddenly get an email one day saying, you know, the Uni's closing, you know, stuff will be done from home. Right. Okay. And, and the next thing is that I find like me and my two flat mates, because we were all doing Religious Studies, we were all in the same boat all had their dissertations du thee around the same time. And we're suddenly you know, just locked in the flat. So it's quite funny. I had quite a big bedroom in our old flat. And at one point, I think my other two flatmates they brought their desks through and it was like a little office block. And so we just sit and we would do, get our work done during the day. And you know, we're sitting furiously typing and editing and all this kind of stuff and, you know, every so often you check and say, you know, How's it going? It was, it was really strange. And then exams went all online and we had, I think 24 hours to submit. And now they were just, you know, horrific trying to scramble and you know, you didn't know what was going on. 

Marc  5:16  
We were in the flat, we were looking after each other, but I think because we had so much to be getting on with, that kept us preoccupied. Whereas, like most of my family who, you know, were in lockdown, the, you know, they were struggling with, you know, the boredom not being able to get out and not being able to see each other whereas, because I get on so well with my flatmates like we were we were doing okay, in the flat, and we were getting on really well. Like, there was this other part of me that was thinking, you know, we're in like, a pandemic, and we're all locked down. And I did, you know, I think I said this to my family at some point, you know, it's not quite hit me yet that you know, because, as I say, you know, we were just so focused on what we had to get done, you know, I don't think I kinda, realised what's truly going on. I don't think it's actually still hit yet. Um basically, I didn't get home until I think August once things were properly lifted. So for the whole summer, it was just spent with, you know, my two flatmates. So once we got our exams, and you know, they kind of started to kind of unwind a little bit, I decided to do this online maths course from Aberdeen Uni because basically, maths was the only thing stopping me from getting into teaching. I didn't have, I didn't get it at school. So I decided to try and get this done over the summer. So basically, you know, they were starting to kind of get to unwind, and they were going to wait to like read or just relax, watch a bit of Netflix. And then here's me, trying to sludge through some, you know, Pythagoras and things like that. And it was, there was days where I couldn't bear it, but, um, that was keeping me, you know, going as well. So I just didn't seem to stop. We didn't, you know, we didn't sit and ponder on it too long. But yeah, it, it has been really strange, and then obviously, after Christmas, we've not been allowed to go back. So it's been kind of the opposite, where I spent most of last year not seeing family and now I've not seen my flatmates for so many months. So it's definitely been a different kind of, I think I felt it may be more this time, because it wasn't such a shock. And it's just something that you're constantly living with now. I think I always do kind of drift off. And to kind of imagine in the future and things like that. I mean, I've applied for teaching, and I'm just waiting to hear back. And you know, from Uni, so it's like that is kind of in the in the mindset just now, but I think yeah, it's just he's just trying to get through every day, just know as it is, and, and look forward to hopefully, you know, better things on the horizon. I just want to say, you know, thank you to all my family and my friends for, you know, all the support and the chats and the laughs because I certainly couldn't have got through the last well, five? years now, without them and you know, I'd say just, it just means the world to me. So yes, thank you so much.

Sonia Mullineux (host)  7:50  
We also ask our graduates to share a place somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this has finished

Marc  8:00  
Um, a place of special to me is the kitchen in our old flat that we were in for a lot last year. So we had this tiny, tiny little kitchen that it was about long and we know there was a couch in there and there was this erm and a table and chairs and then we had like this odd leather green seat. It was all mismatched, and the kind of furniture and that was just our kind of centre, that was the centre of like, last year. I have just so many fond memories of like spending social team in our kitchen. So during lockdown, we would you know, sit and get work done during the day and then at night, we'd watch Netflix or TV shows or films erm and just for me that always brought us together. Erm you know it's a place where we've sat and had debates we you know, we've argued we've laughed, we've, and just for me that I'll always look back fondly on the time that. Lockdown was you know difficult for so many people that I kind of like I'll always kind of be grateful for you know the time that I got to spend with my my friends even though I missed my family a lot, but more because of lockdown we kind of slowed down a bit. And it's just nice to kind of enjoy more time together and see a bit more of them. And you know, sometimes you would. So yeah, I mean we used to decorate it you know everyday you know for Christmas, you know you'd put like stuff up on the walls and you know for Chinese New Year and Easter, so we always did our best to kind of you know try and you know make make something out of it. There was a great quote. I had a picture on the wall. It was erm, life should be like a cup of tea, filled to the brim and shared with friends. And I think that's a great way to, you know, summarise our kitchen.

Sonia Mullineux (host)  9:42  
Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.

Kirsten Roche  9:56  
Feeling inspired by what you've just heard? Take the first step to getting the career you want by contacting the Careers Service. As a recent graduate, you can continue to access all of our services, including access to vacancies on My Career Hub, practice interviews, our full calendar of online employer events, and online appointments with one of our careers consultants. Find out more at

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