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Civil Servant translates her future

Keeva Rock will pick up her Masters in Translation on 8 December.

Civil Servant Keeva Rock (46) took on the challenge of her life when she took on a full time, year-long Masters in Translation whilst holding down her full-time job.  She first graduated from Queen’s in 1997 and initially thought she would attend night classes. However, when she saw the classes also ran during the day, she decided to take the plunge anyway. 

“I wondered how I was going to juggle things. I work full-time as a Civil Servant and have 2 children. I am divorced from their father, and I have the children with me the majority of the time.” 

While the pandemic was a difficult time, the switch to online learning brought Keeva the space she needed. 

Some of the tutorials began at 5 or 6pm, so I was often completing a full day’s work, then going straight to Queens work, but I loved it. Sometimes I turned my camera off and made the children’s dinner, but I was still able to participate in class. When I was in the office, I would go to the canteen with my earphones, to participate in a Spanish workshop, or a lecturer meeting. Working from home made this easier, of course. 

Things were not easy for her 12-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter either: “My son had just started grammar school, and his lessons moved to Google Classroom, but I had to pretty much leave him to his own devices, in terms of schooling and homework, due to my own commitments. Overall though, he coped really well.” 

In the run up to submission time, Keeva was putting in 12 hour days to make sure she got her work done in time. On top of this pressure, her ex partner had become abusive, trying to prevent her from submitting her work. Keeva said the support from her supervisor and the extra time due to Covid helped her get there, even though she took the risk of submitting her whole 15,000 word dissertation ‘blind’. 

“But I am delighted to say, I did it, and passed with Commendation. I’m so proud to graduate on 8th December.” 

 Whilst Keeva plans to set up as a Freelance Translator she doesn’t rule out doing it all again: “I loved it so much, going back into that world, and I miss the people and the buzz of Academia.” 



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