Christine Hacklett(BA Honours Philosophy, Subsidiary Italian,1959)

'I don’t suppose you expected to hear from someone who graduated as long ago as I did - 1959! After graduation I worked for newspapers for a few years, then brought up a family. After that I spent eighteen years working as Departmental Secretary of the Italian Department at University College London. So my Italian came in useful while I was there.

'While I was at UCL I also researched and wrote about a dozen articles on the topographical history of London, most of which were published. I did my degree in Philosophy and Subsidiary Italian. The Italian Department suggested I did a Joint Honours degree, but Philosophy is such a hefty subject that I decided not to. But in fact the Subsidiary Italian course was three years long and the only difference was that in the third year the Honours students did more literature than the Subsidiaries . At UCL the Subsidiary students do just a two year course.

'I loved my three years in Cork, such a beautiful city. I had always enjoyed going to Ireland, which I did once or twice a year in the 1950s. In many ways those three years were among the best in my life (I am now 70, and was a "mature" student of 26 when I started my degree).

'I retired from work at UCL in 1990. I maintain my interest in philosophy by reading, and by going to lectures and conferences organised by the Philosophy Programme of the University of London School of Advanced Study. I keep up my Italian by a weekly hour of conversation with a retired Italian teacher, and by watching Italian TV via satellite, and reading La Repubblica.

'I was glad to see on the internet how much the UCC Italian Department has grown since I was there. The same has happened at UCL. When I began working there in 1972 we had four to six students a year. When I left in 1990 it was about 50 a year, and the staff list has expanded since then so probably the intake of students has too.’ (January 2001)

Department of Italian


First Floor Block A West, O' Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland