Yesterday my friend Fiona, @White_Owly tweeted about a shift in education and it being more responsive to business needs. It started a conversation about further study.
It got me thinking for a while because I’m at a point in my life where I’m thinking, “is this it?”
Have I reached the nexus of my career where I’m banging on about communities and learning to organisations who aren’t really interested?
(For the record, I’m thinking they’re just not the right audience for me any more as they’re focused on profit not people – so they’re totally misaligned to my own values and the spirit of community). Communities are CRITICAL at this time when people need them the most. They’re crucial for economic and local governments to help people connect and tap into resources and assistance). Anyway….
Is it time to start a new field of endeavour?
Or a new field of study?
I had a bit of a search through some university and TAFE sites to see if there’s anything I could be doing to change vocation but in all honesty, as I looked through it all, I was overcome by boredom and tedium.
I simply cannot fathom the thought of going back to university to do a Masters or a PhD in my area. The TAFE vocational courses provided a little bit more interest for me because they were practical, hands-on and there’s a lot more choice BUT again, part of me just doesn’t want to go back into the formal education world to pay thousands of dollars to have some kind of qualification.
It made me think whether I have something wrong with me?
However, I cannot deny the fact that I have ZERO interest. Why would I pay tens of thousands of dollars to sit in front of a computer screen to listen to mediocre lectures on about topics of little interest to me? Why would I pay for the honour of having professors harass me or my writing? (Sorry the press coming out of academia is not selling it for me).
Why would I bust my gut to study hours on end, to submit assessments and to sit examinations on topics that would be made redundant over time?
No thanks. I’ve got an Honours degree, an MBA, Diplomas and Certificates – I think I’ve got enough for now.
It made me realise that I have no interest in formal education – I have LOTS interest in LEARNING. They’re two different things to me.
As such, I’ve been using some of my time to explore different interest areas that I’d like to focus on. For example, in the near future, I’d like to do the following.
French Immersion Course in Noumea
The CREIPAC runs French Immersion Courses in Noumea for 8 days where you stay with a host family and attend school for half day, followed by local excursions in the afternoon. The idea of staying with a host family and having to speak French 24/7 in country appeals to me. I also think it would be a wonderful way of making new friends and appreciating the arts, culture and traditions of the island.
Knitting Tour With The Highlands
This is a knitting tour of Scotland wool mills and undertakes different knitting activities that I’d find immensely interesting.
Introduction to Spinning
The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Melbourne run excellent courses and I’ve always been eyeing off one of the courses in either spinning or weaving. I’d love to learn this ancient craft.
Outdoor Bushcraft Survival
Another course I’d LOVE to do is this Outdoor Bushcraft course. I haven’t been to the bush in YEARS but part of me feels I need to be challenged a bit to get out of my comfort zone. I think a course like this would be right up my alley (I’ve been watching too much of SAS Australia methinks)…. I think it will be a lot of fun but also highly educational.
Some of the other things I would like to learn (and I will over time) are the following.
- Navigate and find a position using dead reckoning (maritime)
- Learn how to plot a running fix position (because I remember watching Seaman Officers do this on the bridge and I always wanted to learn. I kept hassling them to teach me on the bridge but their hands were full at the time).
- Revisiting how to use a compass (I’ve forgotten – want to learn how to do it with a watch)
- Learn how to use a sextant
- Revisit calculus, trigonometry and algebra (I hated high school maths, time I relearned it)
- Learn how to crochet
- Learn another language with my husband through immersion living in Munich and learning German
- Revisit Morse Code (I’ve already forgotten some letters that I learned last year)
- Learn semaphore
- Complete an iPhone Photography course
- Do a professional writing course through RMIT
Ah, there’s so much more but these are the things that I’d love to learn….so much more interesting than sitting in some lecture theatre or writing long academic papers that no one reads.
Sure qualifications give you credibility and they allow you to find work (the latter is changing over time) but I’m beyond that. My drivers are to constantly be in a state of learning, openness to experiences and curiosity. While a formal qualification may open new doors and a new career for me; I want my mind and my heart to be opened.