My guest this week is Katy Hanrahan, who is originally from Teesside, works in special needs education and went to the University of Wales, Lampeter, in the late 1990s to study Religious Studies.
We talk about Teesside, growing up against the backdrop of an industrial region whose heritage has now gone, being the first in her family to go to university, and Katy’s keenness from a young age to learn about people from different backgrounds. We also find out about what Katy’s perceptions were of returning to Teesside after spending three years in Lampeter and finding that nothing had changed.
The conversation then turns to childhood memories and what she remembers doing, and we discover that Katy has always been very animal-centred, including having a passion for looking after horses from a young age, as well as why her mother pushed her into something she could thrive at.
90s dance was a big thing for Katy, and we talk about going to nightclubs, how ‘Ride on Time’ by Black Box was a seminal influence and how not everyone had had the same experiences by the time they went to university.
We find out why Katy was a bit lost after leaving university and how she fell into a career, where she has been working for nearly 20 years, in special needs education. Katy relates her experiences of working in a difficult school, where she had to break up fights between the pupils and where some pupils planned immediately upon leaving school to get pregnant.
Katy talks about the teacher who inspired her, and why she sees him as a life coach, why she ran the netball team at university, and her experience of driving the Union minibus, and listening to Mark and Lard.
Katy then tells us why she chose to study RS and the value of seeing things from somebody else’s point of view and how it gave her a skill set for her profession. She also reflects on what stood out for her in her degree – namely, work on death and religion.
In the final part of the interview we learn whether Katy’s memories are predominantly positive, why she had a great childhood, and Katy talks candidly about negative relationship experiences and about meeting the man of her dreams. We also find out whether Katy is still in touch with friends from her past and how she has a very strong memory of events from her childhood.
Please note: Opinions expressed are solely those of Chris Deacy and Katy Hanrahan and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Kent.