I've decided to restart this blog as a precursor to taking on more writing opportunities in the new year. To begin, I wanted to write about my thoughts on education and learning.
I believe that when it comes to education, there are two types of people in the world. Some, like my husband, do their stint in school and then leave happily to enter the working world. Whilst my husband never actively hated school, once the time came for him to leave he was happy to do so and the thought of carrying on to university never crossed his mind. Don't get me wrong, this group will take the education they truly need quite willingly, my husband spent his twenties studying part time through his work in order to qualify as an accountant; but to them education is simply a means to an end and never something to be done simply for pleasure.
Then there is the other group, the one to which I and my sister belong. My sister once said that she wanted to be "an eternal student" and I agree with her philosophy. To me the idea of hitting a point in life at which I stop studying as I’ve learned enough is abhorrent. I cannot imagine a time at which I will be happy to say I have learned enough for one lifetime. I’m always keen to learn something new, even if it is a “silly” little thing like how to fold towels into animal shapes or wrap a present beautifully.
Attending a bricks and mortar university was impractical for me at the time I completed my A-levels and so I chose to study with the Open University instead. I'm now rapidly approaching 6 years of study with them (including study breaks dictated by necessity) and still enjoying the thrill of choosing my next course. In addition to this more formal education, I frequently enjoy taking short courses in other topics that take my interest. For my birthday this year, my husband bought me the newest edition of Photoshop Elements and I have enjoyed hours on end reading online tutorials and learning new tricks with the software.
There is a giddying thrill for me that comes of discovering new knowledge and finding ways to use it. Just this week, a favourite TV quiz show was discussing the shape of the Earth and I cannot express the joy I felt in knowing that the shape was in fact an oblate spheroid before the host announced this to the contestants.
So in 2011 I will be continuing my studies as ever. I am currently enrolled on a geography module at university and have just completed online short courses in restoring old photographs and putting together a family tree album - both of which I need to continue work on. Add this to ongoing interests in improving my photography, cross stitch, scrapbooking, writing, cake decorating and countless other skills and I imagine I won’t be short on fun activities next year!