My mother was a student here in the mid-nineties, from the February four months before I was born to the June when I was three.
She was an Economics postgrad, a single mother, and eventually, a tutor and lecturer. She was a student with a child, who took me to class and sat in the back row, watched films in Fisher with a staff pass, borrowed children’s toys from the Education Building library.
My mother was here in that stretch of time that some of us now consider a golden period. Her first Honi was the Honi the Chaser edited. She was here the year that Uni, Simon Target’s increasingly cult-status ABC documentary, was filmed – though of course she was not on camera.
To her, university was a puzzle of unit outlines to be solved, a place of employment with a childcare centre, a meritocracy. It was that postgraduate’s diet of toil and little fun (also add in, you know, being a parent). It was commensurate with the level of campus involvement I have as a basement-dwelling editor, but without the byline.
This university is all things to all people, and there is no reason her trajectory was any less important than mine, or the SRC president’s or the director of the Arts Revue’s.
We talk in our office a lot about being a “paper of record”, and it gives me a really satisfying feeling to put this one, long overdue entry of a life on ‘record’ for whatever that is worth.
Just last week, my mother told me that as a student, Honi was probably the first English-language publication she regularly picked up and enjoyed.
Twenty-two years later I have the dumb luck to edit it.
Neither of us quite know what to make of that, though I am certain my pride in her should far outweigh hers in me.